Employees who are entitled to receive deferred holiday pay should get their benefits before the year ends, according to an advisory issued recently by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said in an advisory.

Based on Labor Advisory No. 31 released on November 25 signed by labor secretary Silvestre Bello III, it will be applied to all employers in the private sector which deferred the payment of holiday pay on account of the existence of a national emergency due to COVID-19.

The advisory is pursuant to article 5 of the Labor Code of the Philippines and in relation to the deferment of the holiday pay under labor advisories issued during regular holidays.

DOLE has issued advisories on deferment of payment on previous regular and special non-working holidays during the month of April; May 1 (Labor Day); May 25 in observance of Eid’l Fitr; June 12 (Independence Day); July 31 in observance of Eid’l Adha; August 21 and 31; and November 1(All Saints’ Day); November 2 (All Souls’ Day).

“Employers who were allowed to defer payment of the holiday pay of their employees as referred herein, are required to pay all covered employees of the deferred holiday pay equivalent to 100 % of their daily wage,” the advisory said.

“Covered employers shall pay the qualified employees the deferred holiday pay on or before 31 December 2020.”

Likewise, DOLE also orders employers to release the holiday pay on the said timeline for employees who would work on November 30, during Bonifacio Day which is a regular holiday.

According to the previous labor advisory no. 29, those establishments that have totally closed or ceased operation during the community quarantine period “are exempted from the payment of the holiday pay on November 30, 2020”.