Work permit exclusions to be expanded in the Phillipines

Certain corporate officers and executives are eligible to be excluded from the Alien Employment Permit (AEP) documentary and process requirements starting September 28, 2015. Additionally, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will publish foreign workers’ information to allow for an objection period, and foreign workers will need to conduct an understudy training program to transfer their knowledge to two Filipino workers. 

Excluded Categories of Foreign Workers

The new exclusions from the AEP documentary and process requirements include:

  • Foreign nationals elected as members of a governing board who only have voting rights and do not occupy other positions;
  • Corporate officers assigned under the Corporation Code (such as the corporate president and treasurer), as long as they do not perform management or operations functions in the company; and
  • Intracompany transferees holding executive, managerial or specialist positions (as defined in reciprocal country agreements) provided that they have been previously employed by the foreign sending company at least one year prior to deployment to the Philippines.

Additional categories of foreign workers have also been identified as excluded from the AEP requirement (including consultants without a Philippine employer and contractual service suppliers), but it is not yet clear how these categories will be further defined or implemented by the DOLE.

New Understudy Requirement

Foreign nationals will be required to conduct an understudy training program to transfer their knowledge to two counterpart Filipino workers. This is an additional requirement that must be submitted to support an AEP application.  The DOLE has not yet confirmed the details of the training program.

New Publication Requirement

The DOLE will publish the foreign workers’ names, positions, job descriptions, qualifications, monthly salary ranges and other benefits (if any), along with other employer information, on the DOLE website, in the Public Employment Service Office and in a newspaper of general circulation for 30 days. This posting period is meant to allow Filipino workers the opportunity to file an objection to the foreign worker’s employment with the DOLE. An AEP can be revoked if there is a meritorious objection.

What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

Employers and foreign workers should be prepared for longer work permit processing times due to the implementation of the new rules.

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK