Email as Employment Contract

Employment contracts are consensual in nature. If all of the three essential requisites to a contract are present in an email, then an employment contract may be be formed.

1. Employment contracts are consensual under PH Labor Law

Unknown to many, PH Labor Law classifies employment contracts as consensual, as opposed to formal or written contract.

A contract is consensual when mere consent is required to create a contract. For instance, you enter into a sales contract everytime you buy food and drinks at a convenience store. However, you are never provided a written sales contract to complete the transaction (that's what formal contract means - certain contracts are required to be in writing to be valid such as an sales contract over real property).

The legal basis for employment contracts is found in Article 97(f) of the Labor Code defining wage as any remuneration or earnings "under a written or unwritten contract of employment for work done or to be done, or for services rendered or to be rendered." (Tip: Law students are taught and required to memorize this principle as this as it is a frequent bar exam question.)

The reason behind such a rule is for public policy considerations. Think about it, there are many micro and small business out there. Do you really think that a sales lady (tindera) in a small store or a stevedore (kargador) in a warehouse is given a written employment contract? It is very unlikely that they will be given written employment cont...

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