Vacation Leave: DOLE Guidelines and FAQs

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Written by nikki

What are the DOLE rules on vacation leave in the Philippines?

Vacation Leave DOLE Guidelines and FAQs
Vacation Leave DOLE Guidelines and FAQs

Getting time off from work is as important as earning bonuses and monetary incentives. In the Philippines, the labor code protects contractors and employees from workplace discrimination and unfair treatment. Additionally, it ensures that they receive statutory benefits like leave benefits and full pay accordingly.

What is Vacation Leave?

Vacation leave, often abbreviated as VL, is a form of paid leave available to Filipino employees. It is a benefit provided by employers, allowing employees to take time off with pay for rest, relaxation, or personal matters. However, the number of vacation leaves is at the employer’s discretion. Moreover, some companies may choose to offer vacation leave instead of service incentive leave (SIL).

What is Service Incentive Leave?

Service Incentive Leave (SIL) is a benefit under Article 95 of the Philippine Labor Code. As such, employees who have put in at least a year of work shall receive a minimum of five (5) yearly SIL credits. This benefit allows employees to take paid leave from work, even when they are absent, as they continue to receive their regular pay.

What is the difference between Vacation Leave (VL) and Service Incentive Leave (SIL)

Vacation Leave (VL) and Service Incentive Leave (SIL) are two distinct leave benefits in the Philippines.

Is Vacation Leave (VL) Mandatory in the Philippines?

It is not mandatory for employers to provide vacation leave in the Philippines. This is purely based on the company policy and employer discretion.

On the other hand, service incentive leave is a government-mandated leave benefit that employees receive when they have worked for at least 12 months, whether continuously or staggered.

Each employee is entitled to five (5) days of SIL, which can be used for vacation or sick leave. SIL is provided when a company does not offer vacation and sick leave.

Vacation Leave, on the other hand, is provided by some local employers as time off credits for employees. It is typically used for personal time, relaxation, or spending time with family.

The key difference lies in the origin of the benefits: SIL is mandated by law, while VL is offered by some companies as an alternative to SIL or as an additional leave benefit. However, there are mandatory leave benefits that employers are required to grant their employees. These are:

Other leaves, such as bereavement leave to mourn an immediate family member, may be granted but are not required by law.

Related: How to compute employee leave credits

Vacation Leave Rules

How many days is vacation leave in the Philippines?

All employees in the Philippines are entitled to have vacation leave credits of up to 13 days. After the third year of service, the employer grants one (1) additional vacation day for a maximum of 18 days per calendar year. Lastly, the unused leave credits can be converted to money at the end of the year.

Who is entitled to a vacation leave in the Philippines?

The law provides that any employee who has rendered work within a specified number of hours per day and days per week is entitled to paid leave in the Philippines.

However, there are exceptions, namely:

  • Employees working in retail
  • Employees of service establishments
  • Companies with less than ten employees
Paid Sick Leave vs. Service Incentive Leave

What is paid sick leave in the Philippines?

All employers are required to provide their employees with five (5) days worth of paid service incentive leave in the Philippines, as stated by the Labor Code. However, no law guarantees paid sick leave so this benefit will ultimately depend on company policy.

Moreover, employees who do not have paid sick leave can use their SIL benefit for medical or dental appointments and for recuperation from illnesses, accidents, or injuries.

Is paid pick leave (SL) the same as service incentive leave (SIL) in the Philippines?

Paid sick leave credits are granted to employees based on company policy and discretion. This type of leave benefit, just like the company vacation leave, is not mandatory.

The service incentive leave, or SIL, is mandated by the government. It can be used either for vacation or sick leave.

What is the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) rule on leave?

According to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), employees who have rendered work for at least one (1) year are entitled to five (5) days of paid service incentive leave. (2022 Handbook on Statutory Monetary Benefits, DOLE)

Furthermore, employees generally receive one (1) additional day of paid leave per year beginning in the third year of service.

Additional FAQs

What to do with unused vacation time?

Employers can convert employees’ unused vacation time into the corresponding cash equivalent at the end of the work year.

What are paid public holidays?

The Philippines has 14 official national holidays and four (4) special non-working holidays. In addition, the labor code provides that employees have an entitlement to receive full pay for these 14 national holidays.

Are female employees entitled to additional statutory leave entitlements?

The Magna Carta of Women specifies that a female employee, regardless of age or civil status, can avail herself of Special Leave for Women.

Moreover, they can avail of two (2) months gross full pay based on the employee’s daily salary rate after undergoing surgery for gynecological disorders.

Who can take paternity leave?

As per R.A. 8187, all male employees in the private and government sectors can receive up to seven (7) days’ worth of paternity leave.

Furthermore, a qualified male employee gets paid in full, including his basic salary, allowances, and other monetary entitlements.

Who can file for maternity leave?

A female employee can file for up to eighteen (18) weeks of maternity leave, including the prenatal period.

Furthermore, this leave benefit is usable within twelve (12) months from the date of the child’s birth or the date of legal adoption.

The female worker is also entitled to receive pay for all holidays within the time frame of her maternity leave.

What are the requirements for filing for sick leave in the Philippines?

A medical certificate is required if the sick leave exceeds five (5) successive days. The employee may also be required to submit additional documents as proof, such as hospital bills, prescriptions, and laboratory results.

Keep track of your employee leave credits accurately

With eezi, you can easily offer company vacation leave credits and keep track of them without hassle!

eezi also lets you check and compute unused vacation leave credits for accurate monetary conversion at the end of each year, as prescribed in the Philippine Labor Code.


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