Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis yesterday reiterated that ‘kasambahays’, being compulsory members of the Social Security System (SSS), are also entitled to benefits under the Employees’ Compensation Program (ECP) in the event of work-related sickness, injuries, diseases, or even death.
“Provision of social insurance through the ECP is part of the social protection afforded by the ‘Batas Kasambahay’ to local domestic workers,” ECC Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis said.
Under the ECP, a ‘kasambahay’ who got sick or injured as a result of a work-related accident or disease and was unable to work because of such can claim for loss of income benefit.
“The ‘kasambahay’ will be compensated for the disability that prevents him or her from working,” Banawis added.
Loss of income benefit is also paid for disabilities such as, but not limited to, physical or functional loss of a body part.
He or she is also entitled to medical reimbursement which includes reimbursement of the cost of medicines for a work-related illness o injury, payment to providers of medical care, hospital care, surgical expenses, and the costs of rehabilitation appliances and supplies.
“The ‘kasambahay’ is also entitled to receive a carer’s allowance in the form of a supplemental pension worth P575 per month, if he or she suffers from a work-connected permanent partial or permanent total disability,” Banawis explained.
He or she can also undergo free rehabilitation services in an ECC partner hospital, skills training for re-employment or new employment, and entrepreneurship training to facilitate his or her reintegration to the economic mainstream.
“Furthermore, if the ‘kasambahay’ died as a result of a work-related disease or accident, his or her beneficiaries will receive monthly pension and a funeral benefit worth P20,000,” Banawis said.
Meanwhile, Banawis emphasized that employers of ‘kasambahay’ are required to have and maintain an EC logbook where sickness, injuries, or death of their employees are recorded and updated. Failure of the employer to keep a logbook, if they give false information, or if they withhold material information already in their possession shall make them liable for 50 percent of the lump sum equivalent of the income benefit of their employee.
“However,” Banawis emphasized, “a ‘kasambahay’ can still claim for an EC benefit even if his or her employer does not maintain an EC logbook.
In connection with this, Banawis encouraged all employers to enroll and register their ‘kasambahays’ under the SSS to ensure their ECP coverage.
“Although their ECP coverage starts on the first day of work, the employers are responsible to see it that the ‘kasambahay’ is registered under the SSS and his or her contributions are paid and up to date. Otherwise, the employer is liable for the lump sum equivalent of the benefits the ‘kasambahay’ or his or her dependents are entitiled to,” Banawis said.
The ‘kasambahays’ social protection coverage such as ECP, SSS, Pagibig, and PhilHealth are key provisions of Republic Act No. 10361, otherwise known as the Domestic Workers Act, or Batas Kasambahay. It is a landmark legislation which seeks to change the conditions of the domestic workers by institutionalizing their rights similar to the rights of workers in the formal sector.