How does one request a Certificate of Employment (COE) in the Philippines?
Job seekers, especially those with previous work experience, will need a Certificate of Employment or COE when applying for a new job.
Potential employers require a certificate of employment to help them determine if the applicant is qualified for the position applied for.
A COE is important because it shows that the person bearing it has the proper credentials needed.
What is a COE or Certificate of Employment?
A COE or Certificate of Employment is a document that provides details about what type of work you have done for your previous employer.
It certifies that the person bearing it held the position or job title indicated, as well as the start and end dates of the employment.
It is an essential document that provides evidence to potential employers that you are eligible and qualified for the new position you are applying for.
However, you may also need the COE for other transactions, such as loan or credit card applications.
Related: Employee Data Privacy Rules
Labor Code Governing the Release of a Certificate of Employment
The Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Labor Code of the Philippines indicates that:
A dismissed employee is entitled to request for and receive a Certificate of Employment from his or her former employer.
It should show the start and end dates of the employment.
The certificate must also specify the type of work done by the requesting party, as well as the job title or position held.
(Section 10, Rule XIV Book V of the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code)
Information Contained in a Certificate of Employment
A COE must include the following details:
The letterhead should include the official logo, complete name of the company or issuing entity, its physical address, and contact information.
A certificate number should also be included, if applicable.
The requesting employee’s complete name should be indicated legibly on the certificate of employment.
Other information, such as the employee’s address and contact information, may also be included.
Job Title or Position Held
The certificate of employment should clearly specify the job orientation or position held by the employee.
The start and end dates the employee served in that position or office must also be stated.
If the requesting employee has multiple positions or titles held during his or her employment in the previous company, those may also be stated in the certificate.
However, if the employee has lateral transfers or has held a position for different departments of the company, he or she may request for a separate COE for each job post held.
Issue Date of the COE
The certificate of employment must clearly specify the date of issuance.
Signatures of the authorized person(s) involved in the issuance of the Certificate of Employment should be included before issuing the document to the requesting party.
Dry Seal or Stamp of Validity
The Certificate of Employment must bear the company’s seal or stamp to further supplement its validity.
Main Purpose of a Certificate of Employment
The certificate of employment is requisite when applying for a new job.
It is to let your current employer know what position or field of work you held in your previous place of employment.
This also helps your new employer determine if you are qualified for the job or position you are applying for.
Other Uses for a Certificate of Employment
A certificate of employment may also be needed when applying for services and utilities such as power and water lines installation, home phone installation, internet connection, and cable TV services.
It serves as proof that you are currently employed, and that you will be able to pay for dues for the services you subscribed to.
Ultimately, it shows the existence of an employment relationship between you and your employer. You can then use such information for any purpose it might serve.
How to Request for a Certificate of Employment
The employee or requesting party must get in touch with the Human Resources Department (HRD) of his former place of employment to request for a COE or Certificate of Employment.
However, they would need to request a COE from their current employer’s HRD for purposes other than proving prior employment.
The requesting party may need to submit a request letter.
What Should be Included in the Letter When Requesting for a COE?
The request letter must primarily include the name of the requesting party, his or her address, and contact information.
The reason or purpose of the request should also be specified.
If the COE is required by the current employer, the request letter can also include his or her signature.
When is the Best Time to Request for a Certificate of Employment
The COE can be released any time after the termination date of the employment.
The issuing employer or company must provide the document upon request of the employee.
Employers are required to issue the Certificate of Employment within three (3) days from the request date.
Employer-employee relationship and its impact on your Certificate of Employment
Persons who are no longer employed by a company can rightfully request for a COE.
Laws stated in the Philippine Labor Code backs this right.
Employers are required by law to issue a COE upon request.
However, the requesting party cannot dictate what his or her employer should indicate in the certificate. The information must be based on company records and how the employee performed during his or her tenure.
Is a Certificate of Employment mandatory?
In the Philippines, issuing a COE is governed by laws in the Labor Code.
An employer is required to provide an employee with a certificate of employment upon request.
The document should be issued within 3 days from the request date.
Why do I need a certificate of employment?
The major function of a COE or certificate of employment is proof that the employee has worked for that company, and describes what type of work was done.
The company’s hiring department will review your qualification based on employment record and history.
Who is entitled to request for a Certificate of Employment?
All workers are entitled to request for a Certificate of Employment from former employers, for whatever purposes they need it for.
Can an employer refuse issuing a Certificate of Employment?
Every employer is required by law to issue a Certificate of Employment upon request of the employee.
Which scenarios may prevent an employer from issuing a COE?
The following are situations or instances that the employer may refuse issuing a COE to a requesting employee:
- The job or position held is contractual or project-based;
- There is no direct employer and employee relationship, such as with freelance jobs
- Employment is prematurely terminated by authorized or just cause;
- The employee is not yet cleared from company liabilities.
Can a project-based employee be denied his or her COE?
Employers may define a “worker” as someone employed on a regular basis, such as those that earn monthly wages.
However, the Philippine Labor Code states that a “worker” means any member of the labor force, so long as he or she is for legal working age.
This covers all workers, whether employed or otherwise.
(Article 13 A, Chapter 1, Title 1, Book 1 of the Philippine Labor Code)
Can a worker who is still employed request a Certificate of Employment?
Yes. A COE may be requested and used when applying for services and utilities, bank and auto loans, and other purposes required by the requesting party.
This is stipulated in the Labor Advisory issued by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in the Philippines.
What positions or job titles can be specified in a COE?
If the requesting employee has held multiple positions with varying job titles during his or her tenure with the former employer, the requestor can choose to tailor which position or title should be included in the certificate. This can be indicated in the request letter.
When using a COE to apply for utility installations, bank and auto loans, and other financial-related services, the requesting party may choose to include all positions and titles held.
This is to further confirm proof that he or she is duly employed, and has the means to pay for the services or utilities subscribed to.
Can an employer issue a COE beyond three (3) days?
No. The law strictly specifies that employers’ issuance of a COE should be within 3 days from the date of request.
Should the employer fail to do so, penalties may be incurred if the requesting party refers the case to the Department of Labor and Employment.
Ensure Accurate Information in Your Employees’ COE
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eezi’s dynamic and user-friendly interface allows you to input and update employee information as needed, so all data is up-to-date.