This is a frequently asked question in Philippine labor law from both the employers and the employees. Are employers required to issue payslips to employees?

The answer is not a direct one. This is primarily the reason why this question keeps coming up.

In summary, there is no express statute or rule requiring employers to provide employees with payslips. However, Supreme Court decisions have repeatedly declared that employers should provide them

Domestic workers: payslips required

For domestic workers, R.A. 10361 (Domestic Workers Act or Batas Kasambahay) requires the employers to issue pay slips. Thus:

SEC. 26. Pay Slip. – The employer shall at all times provide the domestic worker with a copy of the pay slip containing the amount paid in cash every pay day, and indicating all deductions made, if any. The copies of the pay slip shall be kept by the employer for a period of three (3) years.

Recognizing this requirement, the DOLE has issued a sample Kasambahay payslip.

A domestic worker refers to “any person engaged in domestic work within an employment relationship such as, but not limited to, the following: general househelp, nursemaid or ‘yaya’, cook, gardener, or laundry person, but shall exclude any person who performs domestic work only occasionally or sporadically and not on an occupational basis.”[1]

Ordinary employees: payslips not required but with consequences

On the contrary, the employer is not required to issue payslips to ordinary employees.

The Labor Code does not have any provision on pay slip as being a duty on the part of the employer. Meanwhile, the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code only requires the employer to maintain a payroll as evidence of payment of wages and monetary benefits, viz:

SEC. 6. Payrolls. – (a) Every employer shall pay his employees by means of payroll wherein the following information and data shall be individualy shown:

  1. length of time to be paid;
  2. the rate of pay per month, week, day or hours, piece, etc.;
  3. the amount due for regular work;
  4. the amount due for overtime work;
  5. deductions made from the wages of the employees; and
  6. amount actually paid.

(b) Every employee in the payroll shall sign or place his thumbmark as the case may be, at the end of the line opposite his name where a blank space shall be provided for the purpose. His signature shall be made in ink or his thumbmark placed with the use of the regular stamping ink and pad.[2]

As of date, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has not issued any rule, order, or advisory on whether a payslip is being required from the employers. This is supported by the fact that there is no DOLE sample payslip unlike that of the domestic worker.

Notwithstanding, the Supreme Court has frowns upon the practice of employers who do not issue payslips. That is to say, the non-issuance of payslips may be taken against the employer as an indication that liabilities owing to the employee are being avoided. This is particularly applied in cases where the true owner attempts to avoid liability by coursing payment to a third party, usually an agency.

Vinoya v. Regent Food Corporation
G.R. No. 126586, 02 February 2000

The Court takes judicial notice of the practice of employers who, in order to evade the liabilities under the Labor Code, do not issue payslips directly to their employees. Under the current practice, a third person, usually the purported contractor (service or manpower placement agency), assumes the act of paying the wage. For this reason, the lowly worker is unable to show proof that it was directly paid by the true employer. Nevertheless, for the workers, it is enough that they actually receive their pay, oblivious of the need for payslips, unaware of its legal implications. Applying this principle to the case at bar, even though the wages were coursed through PMCI, we note that the funds actually came from the pockets of RFC. Thus, in the end, RFC is still the one who paid the wages of petitioner albeit indirectly. (Citations omitted.)

Lim v. Timex Sawmill
G.R. No. 124630, 19 February 1999

With respect to the payment of wages, private respondent CTCI alleges that the names of petitioners were not in the payrolls of the company. CTCI asserts that petitioners do not have any evidence to prove that it paid their salaries, directly or indirectly, or that they were issued payslips by the company.

We are not unaware of the practice among employers of not issuing payslips, precisely to evade the liabilities that correspond to employers as mandated under the Labor Code. Under the current practice a third person, usually the purported contractor (service or manpower placement agency), assumes the act of paying the wage.

From the point of view of the contracted-out workers, the payment of wages must observe the conventional procedure. It is with the labor-only contractor whom they signed their contract of employment. Since the two-tier contract formatting is being made to operationalize, it thus becomes irrelevant whether or not their employer is a downright cabo or a labor-only contractor. What is important is that they receive their wages and are able to identify the person paying them.

It is thus understandable why the petitioners were unable to present any payslip bearing the name of CTCI as employer. For the lowly workers, especially in far-flung areas where the wages are extremely low, it is enough that they actually receive their pay, oblivious of the need for payslips, unaware of its legal implications. In fine, we believe that the payment of petitioners wages was coursed through Arabi, but the funds therefor came from the coffers of CTCI.

Thus, while not required, it would be prudent for employers to issue payslips so as to avoid any inference of avoiding liabilities owing to the employee.

References

[1] R.A. 10361. Sec. 4 (d).

[2] OMNIBUS RULES IMPLEMENTING THE LABOR CODE. Book III, Rule X.