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Housing Allowance

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1 Housing Allowance on Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:42 pm

dennisrobb


Arresto Menor
Hi,

I would like to get some expert opinion on my question regarding housing allowances.

I have been with the company since April of 2010. When i was hired, i was assured that a dwelling will be provided to me by the company and this was so until the company moved it's business address to another province in 2013.

With the move, i was provided with a housing allowance amounting to P/9,000.00 per month. Initially it was the company that issued checks for my house rental and it was the company that settled the payments directly to the lessee. After about a year (2014), the company incorporated the P9,000.00 housing allowance into my salary but was not indicated as housing allowance in my pay slip but was simply indicated as allowance.

Just recently, i was informed that i will be transferred to Makati and will report for work there. I was also informed that the housing allowance i have been receiving will be halted starting January of 2018 because "I WILL JUST BE RETURNED TO WHERE I WAS HIRED" thus no more housing allowance despite of the fact that the company has always provided me a dwelling since i started working in 2010.

The company's business address still remains in the province and the office where i am required to report in is a subsidiary. I am employed by the primary company and not by the subsidiary.

My questions are:

1. Is the act of halting my housing allowance an act in violation of the NON DIMINUTION OF BENEFITS?

2. With being required to report for work in an off site office from the business address of the company, doesn't it mean that a housing allowance is even more required plus transportation and meal allowances?

Hope someone would find time to help me out on this.

Thanks.

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2 Re: Housing Allowance on Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:56 pm

lukekyle


Reclusion Perpetua
1. yes it can be considered a violation. the employer's counter is that the the circumstances has changed.
2. no. employer can consider but not required by labor laws

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3 Re: Housing Allowance on Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:12 pm

dennisrobb


Arresto Menor
1. yes it can be considered a violation. the employer's counter is that the the circumstances has changed.

- Does that counter usually hold?
- I believe the 3 essential factors to consider for the benefit to be considered as non diminutive has been satisfied in my limited opinion but i could also be wrong.

* The benefit has been given for a considerable amount of time. (7 years - since employment regardless of where i was assigned)

* The benefit has been consistently and intentionally done. (the amount has been incorporated into my salary as reflected in my pay slips)

* The benefit has not been a product of erroneous interpretation or construction of a doubtful or difficult question of law


I just want to be sure the company is not violating my right as a regular employee.



2. no. employer can consider but not required by labor laws

Thanks.

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4 Re: Housing Allowance on Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:07 pm

lukekyle


Reclusion Perpetua
1. yes but the situation has changed. lets say you work inside a compund where you need to pay everytime you enter the building. because of this the company gives you an allowance to cover those expenses. if the building stops charging entrace fees, can the employer stop giving you the allowance even if it has been going on for 30 years already?

you are right in the 3 pre reqs but its not always cut and dry. for example if you have transpo allowance but suddenly you are able to work from home nalang.
not saying definitively that your employer is right. this really would depend on how the arbirter appreciates all the factors involved

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5 Re: Housing Allowance on Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:15 am

dennisrobb


Arresto Menor
Thanks for taking time to reply Lukekyle.

Can i possibly invoke the fact that the company has been providing me with housing whether in the form of a place to stay or cash ever since i was hired?

Although not in writing, it was part of the agreement i had with the owner when i accepted the job assignment here in NCR since i came from Visayas.

In the 7 years i have been with the company, the company transferred location more than 3 times and in those times i was constantly provided with housing until now.

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6 Re: Housing Allowance on Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:20 am

lukekyle


Reclusion Perpetua
yes that should be part of the argument

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7 Re: Housing Allowance on Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:27 am

dennisrobb


Arresto Menor
appreciate the time Lukekyle.

Thanks.

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