Interpretation of Labor Laws

Labor laws are generally construed liberally in favor of labor. The Labor Code of the Philippines states: “All doubts in the implementation and interpretation of the provisions of the Labor Code, including its implementing rules and regulations, shall be resolved in favor of labor.”[1] Similar provision can be found in the New Civil Code, viz. “In case of doubt, all labor legislation and all labor contracts shall be construed in favor of the safety and decent living for the laborer.[2]

However, the above provisions do not mean that courts has to blindly rule in favor of labor. Capital and management are entitled to no less protection under the law. The law, while protecting the rights of the employees, authorizes neither the oppression nor destruction of the employer. When the law angles the scale of justice in favor of labor, the scale should never be so tilted if the result is an injustice to the employer.[3]

Interpretation of Labor Contract

Labor contracts are not ordinary contract. The relation between capital and labor are not merely contractual in that the parties do not have complete freedom as to the terms of their relationship. For example, an employee cannot agree to a wage below the minimum wage set by law, or to waive his right to overtime pay for overtime work rendered. This agreement or waiver, even if voluntarily entered into by the parties, is void for being contrary to public policy. Labor contracts are so impressed with public interest that labor contracts must yield to the common good. Hence, labor contracts must yield to laws on CBA, strikes and lockouts, etc.[4]

In the interpretation of labor contracts, the rule is, all doubts in the construction of labor contracts should be resolved in favor of the working class. This is in accordance with Article 1702 of the NCC, which directs that in case of doubt, all labor legislation and all labor contracts shall be construed in favor of the safety and decent living for the laborer.


  1. Article 4, Labor Code of the Philippines.
  2. Art. 1701, New Civil Code (NCC).
  3. St. Theresa’s School Of Novaliches Foundation, et al. vs. NLRC, et al., G.R. No. 122955, April 15, 1998.
  4. See Art. 1700, NCC.

Last Edited: Sunday, May 29, 2011

Caveat: Subsequent court and administrative rulings, or changes to, or repeal of, laws, rules and regulations may have rendered the whole or part of this article inaccurate or obsolete.


  1. Hi,
    Ganito po kc ung situation, 5 years na po kc nagwork ung wife ko sa company nila pero ang salary po nila is below minimum, pero ung company nila is non-agriculture, nsa service po ung industry nila pero more than 15 po ung employees nila. Also hangang ngaun wla pa rin po cla pinipirmahan na employment contract. Meron po bang law about sa employment contract? Pwede rin po ba cla i-reklamo ng “Wage Rationalization Act”?


  2. jay paul parcon Comment:
    August 6th, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    hi ask q lng poh pg sobra na po sa 6 mnths ang work tapos ang contract na pinirmahan q ay 6 mnths lng na extend ako ng 1 mnhts my chance ba na ma regular yn thanks.


  3. jay paul parcon Comment:
    August 6th, 2012 at 12:21 pm



  4. Hello po,
    mag 2years n po aq s company ko pero never p po ako ng sign ng contract ask q lng if ever n magresign ako o tanggalin nila ako may mata2nggap po b ako??? at anu2 po ang maku2ha ko pano po ung computation????

    sana po matulungan nio po aq s aking mga ktanungan
    tnx po ng marami…


  5. hello, i am working with the same company in the past6 years and mos.I did not have any contract in the first 4 years, I was not given any benefit under this employment until it was given only 2 years ago. my question is,am i still entitled for the maternity benefit that i have incurred during those years? since i was not given any sss or phil health? what shall I do? please enlighten me.

    thank you.


  6. timojin sumido Comment:
    April 10th, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    my company said they made an error on placing a certain amount on one of our incentive and want to change to uniform it with others. is this acceptable? do they have the right to do this? they let us sign a new contract but i havent signed it yet because the 1sat contract is more better when it comes to the amount placed.


  7. Robert Arcinue Comment:
    September 23rd, 2013 at 03:35 pm


    I signed a contract with a company last Aug12, 2013 my title written in the contract is Tech Lead (which is a level 2 position) with an Associate level. During my first day within the project my manager spoke to me and told me that I wont have any Tech Lead role, instead I will have an agents role (which is a level 1 postion). What type of labor law did the company violate? If any.



  8. Clyde G. Ventic Comment:
    October 25th, 2013 at 12:20 am

    Hi! Good day!

    I would just like to know if the Philippine Labor Code have regulatory provisions or governing policies regarding implementation of contract bonds/cash bonds?

    Thank you.

    Best regards,


  9. good day po..
    mag aapat na taon na po akung ngtratrabahu sa isang private school as school nurse..ung unang taon ku po partime sy 2010-2011, full time sy 2011-2012, contractual sy 2012- december 2013..tpos ngaung january 2014 ginawa pong daily basis P285. ang monthly salary ku po nun ai P9700.napa unfair nman po expect ku po mapepermanent na po aku anu po ang kailangan ku pong gawin,sna po matulungan nyu po aku..maraming salamat po.


  10. hi,

    good afternoon. I’m 1 1/2 years as regular employee of a establishment here in manila. The company trained me & that was last june 2012 as company trainee. I signed a contract to the company as company trainee for 6 months & later probationary. During the month of june I’m a company trainee. Nov. at the same year I signed a Employment contract as Regular employee. My question is. Is my previous employment contract agreement still applicable or valid even I’am a Regular employee now? Please help me to understand this kind of legal issue.

    God Bless always.



  11. glenda gayeta Comment:
    May 25th, 2014 at 08:20 am

    January 21, 2014 po ng magstart ako as HR/Admin Coordinator, pero wala po sila binigay na contract, hindi pa rin ako hinuhulugan sa SSS, Philhealth, Pag-ibig pero binawasan naman po ako ng contribution ko na nakalagay sa payslip ko.Anu po ba pwede ko gawin para makuha lahat ng benefits na hindi ko pa nakukuha.Salamat po.


  12. glenda gayeta Comment:
    May 25th, 2014 at 03:03 pm

    Help me to know what I need to do.


  13. Benjie E.Hinoctan Comment:
    October 19th, 2014 at 01:24 am

    Magandang araw po,
    Mahigit 10 taon nA po along nagtatrabaho sa isang construction company bilang using welder.Meron nmAn po akong benepisyo.3 taon nA po akong ngbabayad ng SSS,PAG-IBIG etc.TuLoy tuLoy nmAn po young trabaho Namin kahit mababa ang pasahod sa kumpanya.Kaso po medyo humina ang aming trabaho nitong nakaraang buwan.Nagtanggalan nA rin po ng mga tauhan.Halos wala nA rin pong gaanong project.gusto ko lang po sanang malaman kung anu po ang karapatan namin bilang manggagawa kung sakaling umalis kami sa kumpanya.meron po ba akong makukuhang separation pay sa aming amo?Marami nA po kasing umalis Pedro wala nmAn pong natanggap nA pera.Mahirap LNG po kami kaya wala po naming malapitan para humingi ng payo.Ginigipit nA rin po kasi kami para kusang umalis. Maraming maraming salamat po


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