The company where I currently employed is closing down its Philippine Office effective July 7, 2016. We are around less than 20 employees. approximately 18 of the employees were laid off due to this closure and got separation package. 1 is transferred to Australia office. I also received a notice of transfer signed by the managing director of the Philippine Office stating this:
"In accordance with your employment contract and the Philippine labor Code, your employment shall be transferred to XXXXXXX (Company name) Australia. There will be no change in the terms and conditions of your employment. That means, your length of service will be carried over and your compensation and benefit entitlements will be kept.
For continuity of the payment of government contributions and dues, you shall be seconded to a service provider in the Philippines.
As we want this transition to be smooth as possible, we shall advise you of the formalities/requirements for the transfer of your payroll and entitlements to the service provider. Please approach your coach if you have any questions."
The asked the company if there's a legal basis in transferring me to other office without my consent. Here is the reply:
"Employee transfer is part of management prerogatives. There is also provision in our contract about employee transfer. Transfer of employees from one functional unit, department or legal entity to another is legal. If the transfer is done, say, to violate certain provisions of the Labor Code, i.e., non-diminution of pay and benefits, then the transfer may be construed illegal. Your transfer is being done in good faith and does not violate any provisions of the Labor Code and thus, legal."
This is also stated in my employment contract:
"Assignment. The employee acknowledges that without his or her consent XXXXXXX (Company name) Philippines may assign this agreement and the benefits under this Agreement at any time to any affiliate or successor of XXXXXXX (Company name) Philippines and to any entity with which XXXXXXX (Company name) Philippines may be merged or combined."
Here are my questions and concerns:
1. With all the uncertainties of my employment stability, I would prefer to be laid off and receive the separation package. My company didn't even give me this option. They're saying that since there is an office wherein they can transfer me, lay off is not an option for me. I wanted to ask if this is valid and legal. Transferring me to another office without my consent? I signed up for a company in Phils. in accordance with the Labor Code of the Philippines and now they are transferring me to their Office in Australia which is under a different labor code. However, this office in Australia will enter into an agreement to a third party provider to process my salary and other mandatory government contributions. Are all this legal and valid?
2. Effectivity of the Phil. Office dissolution is July 7. Until now, July 6, I haven't signed up for a new contract. If within the day they will not send me the new contract, what courses of action do I need to do? Because as of July 7, the contract I signed up before should no longer be valid as the company in Phils no longer have legal entity. So whatever happens to me, I cannot make them liable, right? (wala akong habol sa kanila, wala akong protection). What's best to do in this case.
Need your expert advise please.