No at-will employment

At-will employment is neither recognized nor permitted under Philippine Labor Law.

What is at-will employment?

At-Will employment is when an employer may terminate employment at any time and without need of any cause or ground. As the term suggests, the employment is at the will or desire of the employer.

While certain countries allow at-will employment, the Philippines follow due process termination. In such a framework, the employee may only be dismissed via just or authorized causes, accompanied by the corresponding two notices. This is in line with the constitutional right to security of tenure by the employees.

Even if at-will employment is stipulated in the employment contract or in the Company Policies, it will be declared invalid or void for being contrary to labor law. Under Contract Law, it is a basic principle that “laws are written into contracts.” Meaning, even if not agreed upon, applicable laws can render certain contractual provisions without any legal effect.

Further, the principle of autonomy in contracts allows parties to enter into terms and conditions that they are willing to agree on provided they are not contrary to law, morals, good customs, or public policy. Thus, any agreement to at-will employment will go against the law on due process termination in Labor Law and thus will result in its invalidity.

a. Exception: Overseas Employment with Foreign Principal

The rules are different when it comes to overseas employment with foreign...


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