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Monday, November 28, 2011

For the Future Employees... Just few Tips Before Taking the Job

Just wanted to share some tips to you guys.


The reason I came up with this is that when I first worked when I was 18 years old, I came to a lot of employment bloopers, and there are even times that I felt I was scammed or deceived.

Tip # 1
As much as possible, don't settle on contractual or project-based contracts.

Explanation: Most companies nowadays are taking advantage of project-basis or contractual-basis kind of jobs. For fresh-graduates this will be eye-catching because it offers you work right away. But mind you, project-basis / contractual basis kind of job is not the best you can have. Why? Because you have a very minimum to zero percent chance of getting promotion and salary increase.

Most of the companies hire employees and put them to 3 month contract and then they will tell you afterwards that your contract has ended and that you have to wait for their call for them to hire you if they have openings. However, the bad thing about this is that most of the time, they do have opening and they would show you as if you should be grateful for them hiring you again or getting you a slot.

Also, they will tell you that you can't be promoted because you are contractual only when in fact sometimes, your years being contractual has been longer than some of their employees that have been promoted.

Solution: As much as possible, ask for probationary period. Most of probationary contracts are ranging from 3-6months. However, you have to make sure that you abide by their rules and you meet your company's standards so that you can be regularized.

Conflict: Most companies would promise you that they will put you in regular contract after the project-basis, don't accept that. You don't have proof if later on they don't regularize you. Unless they will give you an Annex.

Term: "Annex" usually is an addition to any written document/contract as legal binding document as promise, addition or explanation.

Note: I am not saying that Contract/Project-based jobs are bad but if you can find a probationary contracted job, go for it. It is much safer and for those aspiring for long term career growth, this is the path you should take.


Tip # 2

READ your contract first before signing... Always.

Problem: Most people do not read the contract because they are too excited to work and earn money. I have 1 friend who worked in one call center. He was very excited to work in this call center company because this call center company is one of the highest-paying, reputable and prestigious call center. He signed the contract without reading because he's very excited. After 3 months, he found out that he doesn't want to be a call center agent because he graduated an engineering course and he thinks, call center is a dead-end job (not my personal opinion) he just went AWOL. After several weeks, this company called him and sends him demand letters and scaring him to pay Php100,000.00 as bond fee for the training. He was able to pacify this company by sending out a promissory note and after several months, they stopped bothering him. Good thing. However, what if this company was serious in asking for 100,000 pesos. Is any employee that reach to just give out 100,000 pesos for penalty? I think no.

Anyway, contracts are very important. Always check the following:
1) Date of contract - Mind you some contracts are pre-dated, which means the date was days or weeks ahead, what does this mean, your contract will end fast without you earning enough. Some are post-dated, dates are later than the date signed, which means if you will be regularized, it will be later as well.
2) Duration of contract - some companies deliberately mistype the duration (example: 1 year to 1 month. 3 months to 2 months) they do this so that your contract will be shortened or lengthened for their benefits. Be vigilant. ASK! If they say that it's okay and that they will overwrite it, don't accept that because that's illegal and unsecured.
3) Salary - This is the tricky part. Some companies would put a different salary (obviously lower) than your agreed salary. If you do not check, sorry. They win.
4) Benefits, allowances, perks - see below.
5) Position - this is so basic but most companies deliberately do this. I have an experience where during an interview they said that my position will be Senior Recruitment Head and during the contract they put Recruitment Specialist, totally different positions and job designations. BEWARE: Job Title is very important. It is where your next employer would base your next position.
6) Your name - Mind you, this is very basic as well but this really happens and you end up as no contract because your name is wrong and you were lazy to check it.
7) Other additional conditions - There are some companies who put a lot of additional conditions on the contract, sometimes of smaller font. This is not because they are trying to fit the words in the paper but most people would feel tired just by looking at the words and would end up just signing the contract without reading it.

IMPORTANT: Just read your contract from the first word up to last. If they overwrite it, be sure to have it signed as well.


Tip # 3: Ask for clarification on things that you don't understand, you doubt even just a little. If they can't explain to you, or say that that is just normal, or that it is very basic or secondary, don't sign the contract. Ask for someone to interpret it with you.

Note: Usually, contracts use highfaluting or legal words. Most people pretend that they understand the words so that they would not seem dumb, but mind you even most people do not know these words as well. What you can do?
1) If you have access to the internet, look for the definition of it in Merriam-Webster or Thesaurus
2) Ask a friend who you think would have known these words
3) Ask the one asking you to sign the contract. You will be amazed as to how most of these people would want you to sign something they can't explain to you.

Note: These are not the fault of HR personnel but the company who wants to take advantage of some naive and innocent people.

Solution: Stop pretending you know everything and that you do not need help on clarifying things. It pays to ask. Curiosity kills a cat as they say, but you are not a cat so don't worry.


Tip # 4: Be aware of your BENEFITS - These are the government mandatory benefits that you should have:
1) Social Security System (SSS) - government mandated contribution that would secure you funds to be used in the future. It can help you for Sickness Benefits, Disability, Death or Pension funds. To get your SSS Contribution:
Just check your salary range and you will get your monthly contribution

2) Philhealth - Government owned and controlled organization providing health care financing to members. You will really need this especially when you are sickly or usually goes to hospitals. Also, health is wealth and health care is very expensive so be sure that you have this benefit. To compute, please check the table below:

3) Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF), more popularly known as the Pag-IBIG Fund, was an answer to the need for a national savings program and an affordable shelter financing for the Filipino worker. Usually we use this for multi-purpose loan or housing loan.


Tip # 5 Be aware of the BASIC GROSS SALARY - This is very tricky. Most companies when talking to you on your salary, they do not clarify if that salary is basic or includes allowances. Be sure to clarify first.

Note: Most companies during interview they would tell you the salary, example 15,000 pesos. However when you sign your contract they will tell you that they have divided your salary into: P12,000.00 basic salary, P1,000.00 rice allowance, P1,000.00 transportation allowance, P1,000.00 uniform/clothing allowance. They would justify that they do it for you so that you will have less tax because the tax is applicable to basic salary and not to de minimis benefits. Most of us will immediately like the idea because it's like they are doing us favor but mind you, it doesn't.
For example: If your basic salary is P15,000.00 (without dividing into allowances), your daily salary is P15,000.00 / 22 (number of working days in a month) = P681.82, and your hourly rate is P85.22.
Please understand that overtime pays, 13th month pays and even night differentials are based on the basic salary.
So, what if you made an overtime of 50 hours in a month, for P15,000.00 your overtime total is P85.22 X 50 = P4261.00
But, if your basic salary has been divided to the one above and it became P12,000.00 / 22 days = P545.54/day / 8hours = P68.18 X 50hours (overtime made) = P3409.09

As you can see there is a difference of almost P800.00 per month. What if it's for a year: P800.00 X 12months = P9600.00 <<< This is almost like 1 month salary. How much more for higher salaries.

Also, at the end of the year, when you get your 13th month pay, if you worked for a year for example, you will get P12,000.00 instead of P15,000.00, less of P3000.00 per year.

Conflict: I haven't put the comparison for the salary tax computation because it's really long and case to case basis. But, for most HR Personnel, lawyers and accountants that I have spoken to, having basic salary instead of basic divided into de minimis allowances is better.


Tip # 6 - Check the company for permits, certifications or clearances - You do not want to work in illegal companies. For single-proprietorship companies, look for the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Permit, for corporations, check the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) Certificate. Also, look for the Brgy. Clearance, Mayor's Permit, SSS Registration Plate, etc.

If the company don't have any of those, don't bother signing up the contract because technically, they don't exist. And your employment will not be secured. You might end up working for an illegal company.

As much as possible, contact the nearest DTI or SEC to report this. You are also helping the country in getting the taxes correctly and to ensure a fair playing field in the corporate world.


Hope this helps.

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