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14 Essential things to know about your employment contract as an OFW

Remember those days that you passed the interview with your foreign employer and received the positive result of your medical exam and you are set to do your PDOS? What about the moment that you are finally going to sign your contact and ready to fly away from your mother land, the Philippines.

Now comes the hard part, being discerning enough to negotiate over your overseas employment contract. Don’t be too overjoyed at getting that job that you forget that being accepted is just the beginning. Your employment contract as an overseas foreign worker will set the tone for your life abroad.

For an overseas Filipino worker (OFW), the overseas employment contract is the most important document. As proof of terms and conditions between an employer and an OFW, it serves as a form of protection for the worker overseas.

Remember that an employment contract must be approved by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to ensure that the rights of migrant workers are protected while working overseas.

But are you really aware of what are written in your contract? So before signing your overseas employment contract, you should have check the following minimum provisions:

  1. Name and address of employer or company
  2. Job position and worksite
  3. Basic salary (Including benefits, allowances and modes of payment)
  4. Contract duration
  5. Food and accommodation*
  6. Transportation allowance*
  7. Work schedule (including rest days)
  8. Overtime pay rate
  9. Vacation and sick leaves
  10. Free emergency medical and dental treatments
  11. Compensation in case of work-related disablement/injury
  12. Terms for repatriation of remains and personal belongings
  13. Terms for termination of contract
  14. Settlement of disputes.

*Compensation or benefits must be provided for if no allowance is given.
Source: 2016 Revised POEA rules and regulations governing the recruitment and employment of landbased overseas Filipino workers

Keep a copy to yourself and your family.  Ask for a copy of the employment contract you signed and keep it in a safe place. Remember to leave a copy of your overseas employment documents before your departure. In cases when you would need to file a complaint to your employer, you can always refer to what is written in your contract to back up your complaint.

Now, if you happened to signed the contract and started to work abroad and some of the item listed above are violated, you can request legal assistance and counseling through POEA Legal Assistance Online

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