The employer may require the employees to work for six days in a week; this is the 6-day workweek rule.[1] However, whether the employer operates for profit or not, the employee is entitled to a rest period of at least 24 consecutive hours after every six consecutive normal work days; this is the weekly rest day rule..[2]  If the employee has a preference, he is required to inform the employer in writing at least seven days before the desired effectivity of the initial rest day chosen.[3]

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Industry Practices: In some industries, they observe a 5-day workweek only. This is mainly discretionary on the employer who decides on the hours and days of work provided they do not exceed that prescribed by law.

If the 5-day workweek has become a company practice or policy, it is submitted that the employer cannot change it to a 6-day workweek without the consent of the employees. The primary reason is that employment is contractual in nature. The employees may have consented to the employment contract with the 5-day workweek as one of the considerations.

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It is the employer who will determine the employee’s weekly rest day subject to the employment contract, CBA, or DOLE regulations.[4] While the employer is required to respect the preference of the employee if it is based on religious grounds, he may nonetheless schedule the weekly rest day for at least two days in a month if it inevitably results in serious prejudice or obstruction to the operations of the undertaking and the employer cannot normally be expected to resort to other remedial measures.[5]

Notwithstanding, the employer may require the employee to work on a weekly rest day in any of these situations:

  • In case of actual or impending emergencies caused by serious accident, fire, flood, typhoon, earthquake, epidemic or other disaster or calamity to prevent loss of life and property, or imminent danger to public safety;[6]
  • In case of urgent work to be performed on machinery, equipment or installation, to avoid serious loss which the employer would otherwise suffer;[7]
  • In the event of abnormal pressure of work due to special circumstances, where the employer cannot ordinarily be expected to resort to other measures;[8]
  • To prevent loss or damage to perishable goods;[9]
  • Where the nature of the work requires continuous operations and the stoppage of work may result in irreparable injury or loss to the employer;[10]
  • When the work is necessary to avail of favorable weather or environmental conditions where performance or quality of work is dependent thereon;[11] and
  • Under other circumstances analogous or similar to the foregoing as determined by the DOLE Secretary.[12]

Best Legal Practices:

Document necessity for work on a rest day – Considering that work on a rest day is an exception to the 6-day workweek rule, the employer should document the necessity for requiring work in the event of a labor dispute. The employer may issue a memorandum or notice with the corresponding explanation of work on a rest day.

If the employee is required to work on his rest day, he shall be entitled to a premium pay computed as follows:

Table 1[13]
Work Performed on Rest Days or Special Days (+130%)

Sector/Industry Rate* Rest Day Premium Pay
Non-agricultural P466.00 P466.00 x 130% = P605.80
Retail/Service P429.00 P429.00 x 130% = P557.70

*Rate: Minimum Wage (subject to change)

Table 2[14]
Work Performed on Rest Day Falling on Special Day (+150%)

Sector/Industry Rate* Rest Day Premium Pay
Non-agricultural P466.00 P466.00 x 150% = P699.00
Retail/Service P429.00 P429.00 x 150% = P643.50

*Rate: Minimum Wage (subject to change)

Table 3[15]
Work Performed on Rest Day Falling on Regular Holiday (+260%)

Sector/Industry Rate* Rest Day Premium Pay
Non-agricultural P466.00 P466 x 260% = P1,211.60
Retail/Service (>10 employees) P429.00 P429 x 260% = P1,115.40

*Rate: Minimum Wage (subject to change)

For purposes of computing premium pay, cost of living allowance (COLA) is not included.[16]

The employer is allowed to operate or open for business on Sundays and holidays so long as the employees are given the weekly rest day and their corresponding premium pay.[17]

Currently, these are the special days in a year: (a) Ninoy Aquino Day (August 21), All Saints Day (November 1), and Last Day of the Year (December 31).[18] The principle of no work, no pay applies to special days and on such other days as may be proclaimed later on by the executive or the legislative branch of government.[19]

*Comment or feedback:


[1] LABOR CODE. Article 91 (a).

[2] LABOR CODE. Article 91 (a).


[4] LABOR CODE. Article 91 (b).

[5] Ibid. Article 91 (b); IMPLEMENTING RULES OF BOOK III OF THE LABOR CODE. Paragraph 2, Section 4, Rule III.

[6] Ibid. Article 92 (a).

[7] Ibid. Article 92 (b).

[8] Ibid. Article 92 (c).

[9] Ibid. Article 92 (d).

[10] Ibid. Article 92 (f).

[11] Ibid. Article 92 (e). For instance, crew members of a vessel is reuired to work continuously for seven (7) days in a week or more in order to complete a voyage and in other similar cases (IMPLEMENTING RULES of BOOK III, Section 6 [f], Rule III).

[12] Ibid. Article 92 (g).

[13] Id at 158.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Id at 121.


[18] Id at 121.

[19] Ibid.