Article 32

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Coercive, unfair or deceptive recruitment

Article 32 of the Labour Code institutionalizes and regulates the collection of fees by recruitment agencies, and enables the Secretary of Labour to set out the maximum allowable fees.

Notes

According to a 2013 report by the International Organization for Migration, increased vigilance on the fees imposed by recruiters is needed, as recruiters tend to charge more than what is allowed.

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Article 32. Fees to be paid by workers.

Any person applying with a private fee-charging employment agency for employment assistance shall not be charged any fee until he has obtained employment through its efforts or has actually commenced employment. Such fee shall be always covered with the appropriate receipt clearly showing the amount paid. The Secretary of Labor shall promulgate a schedule of allowable fees.

Law / Philippines / Labour Code (Presidential Decree No. 442 of 1974, as amended)

The Labour Code regulates the employment of all workers, except certain excluded categories, and may be used to hold both individual and corporate employers to account for violations of labour rights. Under the Code, breaches declared to be unlawful or penal in nature, are penalised with 3 months to 3 years of imprisonment, a fine ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 pesos, or both. The Labour Code provides some rights and protections for workers, such as provisions regarding working hours, weekly rest, health and safety, minimum wages, and against wage manipulation and the witholding of wages. The Labour Code excludes domestic workers from its scope of application, and thus from the protections afforded to other workers. This major loophole was addressed through the enactment of the Domestic Workers Bill in 2013, which instituted a number of protections for domestic workers, including minimum wages, social security, leave entitlements, and protection against abuse, violence or harassment.