Article I



SECTION 1. Short Title. – This Act shall be known as the “Domestic Workers Act” or “Batas Kasambahay”.

SEC. 2. Declaration of Policies. – It is hereby declared that:

(a) The State strongly affirms labor as a primary social force and is committed to respect, promote, protect and realize the fundamental principles and rights at work including, but not limited to, abolition of child labor, elimination of all forms of forced labor, discrimination in employment and occupation, and trafficking in persons, especially women and children;

(b) The State adheres to internationally accepted working conditions for workers in general, and establishes labor standards for domestic workers in particular, towards decent employment and income, enhanced coverage of social protection, respect for human rights and strengthened social dialogue;

(c) The State recognizes the need to protect the rights of domestic workers against abuse, harassment, violence, economic exploitation and performance of work that is hazardous to their physical and mental health; and

(d) The State, in protecting domestic workers and recognizing their special needs to ensure safe and healthful working conditions, promotes gender-sensitive measures in the formulation and implementation of policies and programs affecting the local domestic work.

SEC. 3. Coverage. – This Act applies to all domestic workers employed and working within the country.

SEC. 4. Definition of Terms. – As used in this Act, the term:
(a) Debt bondage refers to the rendering of service by the domestic worker as security or payment for a debt where the length and nature of service is not clearly defined or when the value of the service is not reasonably applied in the payment of the debt.
(b) Deployment expenses refers to expenses that are directly used for the transfer of the domestic worker from place of origin to the place of work covering the cost of transportation. Advances or loans by the domestic worker are not included in the definition of deployment expenses.
(c) Domestic work refers to work performed in or for a household or households.
(d) Domestic worker or “Kasambahay” refers to any person engaged in domestic work within an employment relationship such as, but not limited to, the following: general househelp, nursemaid or “yaya”, cook, gardener, or laundry person, but shall exclude any person who performs domestic work only occasionally or sporadically and not on an occupational basis.
The term shall not include children who are under foster family arrangement, and are provided access to education and given an allowance incidental to education, i.e. “baon”, transportation, school projects and school activities.
(e) Employer refers to any person who engages and controls the services of a domestic worker and is party to the employment contract.
(f) Household refers to the immediate members of the family or the occupants of the house that are directly provided services by the domestic worker.
(g) Private Employment Agency (PEA) refers to any individual, legitimate partnership, corporation or entity licensed to engage in the recruitment and placement of domestic workers for local employment.
(h) Working children, as used under this Act, refers to domestic workers who are fifteen (15) years old and above but below eighteen (18) years old.