This blog post is to inform our fellow OFWs that the POEA rules and regulations governing the recruitment and employment of landbased OFWs have been revised on February 2016.
Some of the answers to our readers inquires or salient portion of the provisions of the revised POEA rules and regulations 2016 are herein provided for our guide.
A: Disciplinary Action against Principal/Employer
Salient portions of some provisions that fellow OFWs should note that principals and or employer unauthorized/unjustified collection of fee or illegal exaction from OFWs through whatever means, including salary deduction are serious offense and grounds for disciplinary actions against employers that could lead to permanent disqualification and delisting from the roster of accredited principal or employer.
In the above provision otherwise, OFWs should be reminded that a placement fee “may be charged against the Overseas Filipino Worker equivalent to one (1) month basic salary as specified in the POEA approved contract”. However, in Saudi Arabia, the employer’s usual practice has to pay the worker placement fee to the recruitment agency and to be paid by the OFW through salary deduction. There are many employers in the Middle East that are doing this kind of arrangements. It may be allowed with a written acceptance by the OFW. But be noted that the salary deduction scheme is not allowed in other countries of destination.
Permanent disqualification of the principal to hire OFWs includes “substitution or alteration of the POEA approved contract to the prejudice of the Overseas Filipino Worker.” Therefore, OFWs should always be aware that changing of the agreed terms and conditions of POEA approve contract is against POEA rules and regulations.
B: Disciplinary Action against Recruitment agency
Be aware that that recruitment agencies are subject to suspension of license if found “collecting any fee from a worker without issuing the official receipt clearly showing the amount paid and the purpose for which payment was made.”
Provisions that may lead to the suspension of the recruitment agency’s license in the revised POEA rules and regulations includes:
“Substituting or altering, to the prejudice of the worker, a POEA-approved employment contract, from the time of actual signing thereof by the parties up to and including the period of the expiration of the same, without the approval of the POLO or POEA”.
Therefore, any alteration or substitution of the agreed employment contract terms and conditions if the case may arise should be approved by our POLO and or POEA.
“Withholding or denying release of travel or other pertinent documents from a worker despite demand and failure to reimburse expenses incurred by the worker in connection with his/her documentation and processing for purposes of deployment, where deployment does not take place without any fault on the part of the worker.”
All the above offense committed by the recruitment agency may result in the revoking or suspension of their license or whatever penalties as to be concluded by the POEA.
C: Disciplinary Action against Overseas Filipino Workers
If there is a disciplinary action to be taken against employers and recruitment agency, an OFW should also be aware that penalties await us if an offense is committed during the pre-employment period.
The number one that we should be aware of is “submitting, furnishing or using false information or documents or any form of misrepresentation for the purpose of a job application or employment.” The penalties are categorized into three in which could lead to permanent disqualification from participation in the overseas employment program.
Another offense that I found relevant to many of our readers’ inquiries is the “unjustified refusal to continue his/her application after signing an employment contract, or to depart for the work site after all employment and travel documents have been duly approved by the appropriate government agencies.” Penalties could be a “suspension in a certain period of time and permanent disqualification from participation in the overseas employment program.”
But in this particular scenario the POEA will determine the offense upon review of the complaint raised by the recruitment agency. If an offense is committed, it means unjustifiable reasons for withdrawal of documents or refusal to depart for the work site may result in disqualification of OFWs in future application to work overseas.
Primary Responsibility to Repatriate Overseas Filipino Workers. – Notwithstanding the provisions on compulsory insurance coverage as required by law, the repatriation of an Overseas Filipino Worker or his/her remains, and the transport of his/her personal effects shall be the primary responsibility of the principal/employer and licensed recruitment agency that recruited and/or deployed the work. This entails the obligation to cover repatriation and attendant costs, including airfare and immigration fines/penalties. This obligation shall be without prior determination of the cause of the need to repatriate the Overseas Filipino Worker.
However, kindly be informed that the POEA Revised Rules and Regulations says “after the Overseas Filipino Worker has returned to the country, the principal/employer or licensed recruitment agency may, however, recover the cost of repatriation from the Overseas Filipino Worker if the termination of the employment was due solely to the Overseas Filipino Worker’s fault.”
Click here>>> RULE XIII REPATRIATION OF WORKERS (OMNIBUS RULES AND REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING THE MIGRANT WORKERS AND OVERSEAS FILIPINOS ACT OF 1995, AS AMENDED BY REPUBLIC ACT NO. 10022)
Click here>>> OFW Compulsory Insurance or OFWs Mandatory Insurance Coverage.
Click here>>> STANDARD EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT FOR VARIOUS SKILLS (No. 14 : TERMINATION)