‘Employers who don’t give full day off to FDH face $50,000 fine’

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Lawyer Louise Le Pla speaks at the PCG forum on March 24.

 

AN employer who does not give a full rest day to her foreign domestic worker faces a fine of up to $50,000, according to a legal expert.

Speaking during a forum at the Philippine Consulate General, lawyer Louise Le Pla urged Filipino domestic workers to assert their right to a full day off.

“A rest day is a full 24 hours. So, if your boss is asking you to walk the dog before you go visit your friends on Sunday, that’s not allowed. That’s illegal,” said Le Pla during the forum on March 24.

“If your boss is telling you to be home by 8 p.m. so you can put the kids to bed on Sunday, that is not right. That Sunday is a 24-hour period and an employer who fails to provide a rest day, they can be fined $50,000 if they do not provide that full 24-hour period,” she added.

Le Pla said foreign domestic workers who are not given their full rest day should talk to their employers first to see if the situation can be remedied.

“So, if any of you have bosses asking to do this, obviously you should tell them that you have the right. That’s in your contract. Some employers are unaware so I think the first step should be speaking with the employer,” she said.

“The second step should be going to an organization and seeking their advice,” she added.

Le Pla said the worker could approach organizations that help FDHs in distress like Help for Domestic Helpers (56180689), the Mission for Migrant Workers (25228264), and Pathfinders, or call the consulate (the number of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office is 34830600) .

Le Pla said she understood the concern of workers that their employers might terminate them if they complain but she noted that the Labour Tribunal had also “enforced” workers’ rights.

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