Falling sick sometimes is not within our control. As much as we try to keep ourselves strong and healthy, we inevitably fall sick at least once or twice a year. But it is not a statutory requirement to grant sick leave benefit, so what is your company’s sick leave policy?

Understand and find out the sick leave policies and practices as well as the SSS Sickness benefit:

  • Sick Leave Policy in the Philippines
  • Common question: is medical certificate required to avail sick leave?
  • Common question: is sick leave convertible to cash?
  • SSS Sickness Benefit
  • How to compute SSS Sickness Benefit?
  • What if the Employee has a Long Term Sickness?

Sick Leave

However, there is no sick leave provision in the Labor Code of the Philippines.

Sick leave is a type of leave benefit designed to allow employees to take time off from work for the employee to recover from an illness. It is usually granted as a paid absence from duty.

It allows employees to seek medical treatment and properly address their health needs before returning back to work; and also to prevent potential contagion in the workplace.

Sick Leave Policy

In the Philippines, it is not a statutory requirement to grant sick leave benefit. Therefore it is the employer’s prerogative to grant the sick leave benefit and decide on the corresponding pay rules on the day of absence. However, an employee may claim SSS sickness benefit for work absences due to sickness or injury if the employee meets the requirements for SSS Sickness benefit.

In practice, most employers do grant sick leave benefit to their employees and have their own sick leave policy and availment procedure. Generally, the employee must notify the supervisor of his intention to avail the sick leave benefit on or before the day of absence except in the case of an emergency. If in the case of an emergency, the employee may notify the employer or representative of the employer as soon as the health condition of the employee permits. Otherwise, the employee may also do so through a representative, usually a family member. It is the employee’s responsibility to notify and seek approval to avail the sick leave benefit.

Is medical certificate required to avail sick leave?

The conditions to avail the benefit depends on the company’s policy. However, it is not uncommon for the company to require the employee to provide a medical certificate for the day of absence. Some other companies may only require the submission of the medical certificate for absences of more than 2 days. Conclusively, the employer has the flexibility in imposing conditions on the employee’s entitlement and availment of the sick leave benefit.

Is Sick Leave Convertible to Cash?

The accumulation and conversion of unused sick leave to cash depend on the company’s policy. Most companies prohibit the accumulation of sick leave credits but allow unused sick leave to be converted to cash at the end of the calendar year or upon separation from the company to discourage abusive use of the sick leave benefit.

SSS Sickness Benefit

SSS benefit for sickness is a benefit provided by the Social Security System (SSS) of the Philippines for an employee who is sick for at least 4 days, has paid at least 3 months of contributions within the 12-month period immediately before the semester of sickness or injury and does not have remaining company-paid sick leave credits.

SSS Sickness Benefit Computation

The SSS Sickness benefit per day is equivalent to 90% of the member’s average daily salary credit, using the 6 highest monthly salary credit of the past 12 months before the semester of sickness as the basis.

  • A semester refers to a period of 6 consecutive months or 2 consecutive quarters
  • A quarter refers to a period of 3 consecutive months ending March, June, September or December

Illustration

An employee is sick from 4 April 2016 to 8 April 2016, for a total of 5 working days. Assuming that the employee’s monthly salary credit is P15,000 a month. Compute his SSS Sickness benefit below:

  • Identify the semester (6 months period) of sickness. In the example, the semester of sickness would be from Jan 2016 to Jun 2016.
  • Identify the six highest monthly salary credits that were contributed to the SSS within the last 12 month before the semester. So that will be from Jan 2015 to Dec 2015.
Add the six highest monthly salary credits P15,000 x 6 = P90,000
Divide the total by 180 days to get the average daily salary credit P90,000 / 180 = P500
Multiply the average daily salary credit by 90 percent to get the daily sickness allowance P500 x 90% = P450
Multiply the daily sickness allowance by approved number of days P450 x 5 = P2,250

What if the Employee has a Long Term Sickness?

For claim under SSS

An employee can be granted sickness benefit for a maximum of 120 days in one (1) calendar year. Any unused portion of the allowable 120 days sickness benefit cannot be carried forward and added to the total number of allowed compensable days for the following year.

The sickness benefit shall not be paid for more than 240 days on account of the same sickness or injury. If the sickness or injury still persists after 240 days, his claim will be considered a disability claim.

In the event that the employee is found unfit for duties

If an employee has been found to be suffering from a disease and whose continued employment is prohibited by law or is prejudicial to his health or to the health of the co-employees, the employer may terminate the services of such employee under the Labor Code of Philippines Art. 284 (renumbered Art. 299) provided that there is a certification by competent public health authority that the disease is of such nature and of at such a stage that it cannot be cured within a period of six months even with proper medical treatment. Under such termination, the employee shall, in turn, be entitled to separation pay from the employer.

If the disease can be cured within 6 months, the employer shall not terminate the employee but shall ask the employee to take a leave of absence and subsequently reinstate the employee to the former position immediately upon the restoration of the employee’s normal health.

For more information on SSS sickness benefit, please refer to the Social Security System of the Philippines.