Amendments to POEA standard employment contract (14th October 2010)
Philippine Labour Contracts
Definition of Terms
- (Item12) The definition of "work-related illness" was amended to mean any sickness as a result of an occupational disease listed under Section 32-A of this Contract with the conditions set therein satisfied.
- (Item13) The term "Beneficiary" was added. Correspondingly, it refers to the person/s to whom the death compensation and other benefits due under the employment contract are payable in accordance with rules of succession under the Civil Code of the Philippines, as amended.
- (Item14) Also added was the term "Seafarer" which refers to any person who is employed or engaged in overseas employment in any capacity on board a ship other than a government ship used for military or non-commercial purposes
- (Item15) With regards to the term "pre-existing illness," the final results of the review presents that an illness or condition shall be considered as pre-existing if prior to the processing of the POEA contract, any of the following conditions are present, viz:
a. The advice of a medical doctor on treatment was given for such continuing illness or condition.
b. The seafarer had been diagnosed and has knowledge of such an illness or condition but failed to disclose the same during PEME and such cannot be diagnosed during the PEME.
* Added provision
- (Item16) Likewise added was the term "Manning Agency" which refers to any person, partnership or corporation duly licensed by the Secretary of Labor and Employment to engage in the recruitment and placement of seafarers for ships plying international waters and for related maritime activities.
- (Item17) Another additional term is "Allottee." It refers to any person named or designated by the seafarer as the recipient of his remittance to the Philippines.
· Section 1.A. Duties of the Principal/Employer/Master/Company
- (Item2) To extend coverage to the seafarers under the Philippine Social Security System, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, Employees' Compensation Commission and Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund), unless otherwise provided in multilateral or bilateral agreements entered into by the Philippine government with other countries.
- (Item 6) To provide a workplace conducive for the protection of the health of the seafarers in accordance with the standards and guidelines in Title 4 of the MLC.
· Section 1.B. Duties of the Seafarer
- (Item 6) To take personal responsibility for his health while onboard by practicing a healthy lifestyle which includes taking medications and lifestyle changes as prescribed by the company-designated doctor.
· Section 10: Hours of Work
- (Item C) The record of the seafarer's daily hours of work or of his daily hours of rest shall be maintained to allow monitoring of compliance to the above provisions. The seafarer shall be provided a copy of the records pertaining to him which shall be endorsed by the master or a person authorized by the master, and by the seafarer.
The seafarer shall be allowed reasonable rest period in accordance with international standards.
· Section 12: Leave Pay
The seafarer's leave pay shall be in accordance with the number of days leave per month as agreed upon. Days leave shall not be less than four and a half days for each month of service and pro-rated. Leave pay shall be settled onboard or settled within two weeks after arrival of the seafarer at the point of hire.
· Section 16: Grievance Machinery
- (Item C) The aggrieved seafarer whose employment is covered by an existing CBA shall elevate any unsatisfactory resolution of his grievance to voluntary arbitration as agreed upon under the CBA. The aggrieved party whose employment is not covered by an existing CBA may elevate his complaint to the Maritime Industry Labor Arbitration Council (MILA) prior to any other forum.
· Section 19: Repatriation
- (Item F) The seafarer, when discharged and repatriated as directed by the principal/employer/master/company shall be entitled to basic wages from date of signing off until arrival at the point of hire except when the discharge is in accordance with the above or for disciplinary reasons.
If the seafarer delays or makes a detour or proceeds to a destination other than through the travel itinerary arranged by the employer to the point of hire, the employment of the seafarer will be considered terminated at the time the seafarer signs off the ship and all additional expenses shall be to the seafarer's account. The seafarer shall be entitled to earned wages and basic wage calculated based on the original scheduled date of arrival at the point of hire. All other liabilities of the company in this event shall cease at the time the seafarer is terminated. Any illness, injury or death sustained by the seafarer, due to the above shall be considered non-work related and shall not be compensated.
· Section 20: Compensation and Benefits
*Note: The order of the subtitles was re-arranged so that compensation and benefits for Injury or Illness came before compensation and benefits for death.
(A) Compensation and Benefits for Injury or Illness
(Item 3) In addition to the above obligation of the employer to provide medical attention, the seafarer shall also receive sickness allowance from his employer in an amount equivalent to his basic wage computed from the time he signed off until he is declared fit to work or the degree of disability has been assessed by the company-designated physician. The period within which the seafarer shall be entitled to his sickness allowance shall not exceed 120 days. Payment of the sickness allowance shall be made on a regular basis, but not less than once a month.
*Added provision (added as paragraph 2 of Item 3)
The seafarer shall be entitled to reimbursement of the cost of medicines prescribed by the company-designated physician. In case treatment of the seafarer is on an out-patient basis as determined by the company-designated physician, the company shall approve the appropriate mode of transportation and accommodation. The reasonable cost of actual traveling expenses and/or accommodation shall be paid subject to liquidation and submission of official receipts and/or proof of expenses.
(Item 6) In case of permanent total or partial disability of the seafarer caused by either injury or illness the seafarer shall be compensated in accordance with the schedule of benefits enumerated in Section 32 of his Contract. Computation of his benefits arising from an illness or disease shall be governed by the rates and the rules of compensation applicable at the time the illness or disease was contracted.
The disability shall be based solely on the disability gradings provided under Section 32 of this Contract, and shall not be measured or determined by the number of days a seafarer is under treatment or the number of days in which sickness allowance is paid.
(Item 7) It is understood and agreed that the benefits mentioned above shall be separate and distinct from, and will be in addition to whatever benefits which the seafarer is entitled to under Philippine laws such as from the Social Security System, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Employees' Compensation Commission, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation and Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag- IBIGFund).
- (Item E) A seafarer who knowingly conceals a pre-existing illness or condition in the Pre-Employment Medical Examination (PEME) shall be liable for misrepresentation and shall be disqualified from any compensation and benefits. This is likewise a just cause for termination of employment and imposition of appropriate administrative sanctions. (Note: From letter C of Section 20 of the existing POEA-SEC)
- (Item H) The amounts paid to the seafarer due to accidental or natural death, or permanent total disablement by virtue of the provisions of RA 8042 as amended by RA 10022 and its implementing rules and regulations shall form part of and shall be deducted from the total amount that the seafarer is determined to be finally entitled to under this Contract.
- (Item I) Subsistence allowance benefit, with at least One Hundred United States Dollars (US$100) per month for a maximum of six (6) months for the seafarer who is involved in a case or litigation for the protection of his/her rights in the receiving country.
- (Item J) Compassionate Visit. When a seafarer is hospitalized and has been confined for at least seven (7) consecutive days, he shall be entitled to a compassionate visit by one (1) family member or a requested individual. The employer shall pay for the transportation cost of the family member or requested individual to the major airport closest to the place of hospitalization of the seafarer. It is, however, the responsibility of the family member or requested individual to meet all visa and travel document requirements
· Section 22: Termination Due to Shipwreck and Ship's Foundering
Where the ship is wrecked necessitating the termination of employment before the date indicated in the contract, the seafarer shall be entitled to earned wages, medical examination at employer's expense to determine his fitness to work, repatriation at employer's cost and one month basic wage as termination pay.
*Added provision (paragraph 2 of Section 22)
In case of termination of employment of the seafarer before the expiration of the term of his contract due to shipwreck, actual or constructive total loss or foundering of the ship, the seafarer shall be entitled to earned wages, medical examination at employer's expense to determine his fitness to work, repatriation at employer's cost and one month basic wage as termination pay.
· Other Significant Amendments:
- There were important changes/amendments made to Section 32-A: Occupational Diseases and Section 33: Table of Offenses and Corresponding Administrative Penalties. For your information, please refer to the POEA final draft provided as attached.