IBP Davao Corner: When Separation Pay Is Allowed In Voluntary Resignation And Termination Due To Disease/Illness As An Authorized Cause For Termination.

“Dear IBP,
Puede Po makahingi na advice tungkol po sa asawa ko na bus driver sa isang kompanya,na mild stroke PO sya.pag nag resign PO ba sya ay may makukuha syang bayad?”

The Apprehensive Wife

Atty. Migs Nograles
Atty. Migs Nograles

Dear Apprehensive Wife,

Unfortunately, there is no law that grants separation pay to those who voluntarily resigns from their job. Separation pay is only entitled to those employees who are separated from their employment due to authorized causes (i.e. installation of labor saving devices, redundancy, retrenchment, closure and cessation of business, and disease/illness). In your husband’s case, if he voluntarily resigns, he will not be entitled to any separation pay.

As instructed by the Supreme Court in the case of Jude Del Rio vs. DPO Philippines, G.R. No. 211525, December 25, 2018, “suffice it to say, an employee who voluntarily resigns from employment is not entitled to separation pay except when it is stipulated in the employment contract or the CBA, or it is sanctioned by established employer practice or policy.” Thus, although the general rule is that there is no separation pay in case of voluntary resignation, if in case the following applies to your husband: (a) his employment contract provides for separation pay in case of voluntary resignation; or (b) he belongs to a union and their Collective Bargaining Agreement provides for such separation pay; or (c) there is an established company practice or policy on payment of separation pay when an employee voluntarily resigns, then he will be entitled to separation pay. Otherwise, he will not.

Notably, however, if an employee is terminated due to health reasons, he may be entitled a separation pay if these two requirements are complied with: (a) such is a disease where continued work would compromise an employee’s health; and (b) a competent public health authority has certified that the disease is incurable within a period of six (6) months even with proper medical treatment.

In your husband’s case, you may be guided by the case of Baby Bus Inc. vs. The Hon. Minister of Labor, G.R. No. L-54223, February 26, 1988, wherein the Supreme Court held that the inspector-employee’s continued employment after suffering several mild strokes due to his high blood pressure would be clearly prejudicial to his health and therefore could be one of the authorized causes for termination of employment. Consequently, all you need now is a certification from a competent public health authority that such disease is incurable within a period of six (6) months to show to your husband’s employer. Otherwise, he will still not be entitled with any separation pay since this is an indispensable requirement (Triple Eight Integrated vs. NLRC, G.R. No. 129584, December 3, 1998).

The above legal opinion is based solely on the appreciation of the facts and problem given and stated above. The opinion may vary when other facts, circumstances, and situations are stated. For more information and for further queries, you may contact the Legal Aid Office of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Davao City Chapter at ibpdavao@gmail.com.

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