christmas bonus

Christmas day is coming in less than 30 days from now and as
usual, every employee is looking forward to that yearly
Christmas bonus given by the employer.

One day, I am with a couple of friends talking about what we
will do with our Christmas bonus and one of our friend said
that we are very lucky to receive one and he does not.

I asked why? he answered, because it has been like that for
a long time.

I wondered why there are some companies that do not give
Christmas bonuses.

I asked somebody from our personnel department why some
employees do not receive a Christmas bonus.

He explained that not all employees are qualified to receive
a Christmas bonus. There is no law mandatorily requiring an
employer to pay a Christmas bonus but there is a law called
13th month pay law that requires employer to pay their
employees not later that December 24 of each year.

But even then, he explained, there are certain instances
when an employer is exempt from paying the 13th month pay
and they are the following:

Exempted Employers

1. The Government and any of its political subdivisions,
    including government-owned and controlled corporations,
    except those corporations operating essentially as private
    subsidiaries of the Government;

2. Employers already paying their employees a 13th month
    pay or more in a calendar year or its equivalent at the time
    of this issuance:

          Its Equivalent : includes Christmas bonus, mid-year
          bonus, cash bonuses and other payments amounting to not
          less than 1/12 of the basic salary but shall NOT INCLUDE
          cash and stock dividends, cost of living allowances and all
          other allowances regularly enjoyed by the employee as
          well a non-monetary benefits.

3. Employers of household helpers and persons in the personal
    service of another relation to such workers and;

4. Employers of those who are paid on purely commission,
    boundary or task basis and those who are paid a fixed
    amount for performing specific work, except where the
    workers are paid on piece-rate basis in which case the
    employer shall grant the required 13th month pay to such

We are very lucky indeed that in addition to our 13th month
pay, we also receive a Christmas bonus equivalent to half our
monthly salary.

A Christmas Bonus is a money given in addition to an employee's
usual compensation.

It may be given as a gratuity, as an act of liberality. But a
Christmas bonus is demandable as a matter of right if it is made
a legal obligation by law or in a collective bargaining agreement
or in a contract of employment or by its having been given for
such a long time such that the receipt of a bonus has ripened
into a right.

When I came to work with my company, Christmas bonus is already
given yearly so it might be a result of a collective bargaining
agreement or perhaps it has been given by my company for a very
long time even before I came to work that it has ripened into
a right.