Gauranteed 13th Month Pay or 13th Month Bonus? Which is Correct?

The 13th month payment is not a bonus.

Here is why: In most companies in the Philippines, salaries are paid and negotiated on a monthly basis. Meaning whenever an employee is presented a job offer and employment contract it would state the employeees expected monthly basic pay.

Note that for monthly paid employees , the terms “daily rate” and “hourly rate” is used only as a basis for computing an employees absences and/or tardiness.

However most months do not have the same number of days as any other month. The definition of a month, should be made up of 4 weeks or exactly 28 days – like as in February.


The result is a whole extra month plus 1 day of salaries which would be “credited” as 13th month pay

Companies should stop using the term “13th month bonus” since it is never a bonus by definition!

The solution to squash this ambiguity is a redefinition, salaries in the Philippines for monthly paid employees should be based on a yearly basis, instead of monthly. Employers who claim to pay a monthly salary and deny their employees 13th month salaries are effectively committing wage theft by paying a yearly salary.

Most Philippine companies have a 40 – 48 hour work week (5 to 6 Days work week) and anything more than that is Overtime. Therefore, 13th month payment is not a bonus and is actually hours that you clocked in and worked for.

To claim it as bonus or otherwise is misleading. Thus 13th month pay is a Gauranteed Pay.

Note: This would not apply for those daily paid workers.




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