Years ago, our parents and grandparents found stable jobs, worked continuously for 20 or so years, and retired at the ripe old age of 60. Employees only needed to work diligently and they were assured of tenure. Meanwhile, employers didn’t have to worry too much about employee turnover because most of their people were very loyal and stayed with the company during good and bad times.
During that time, it wasn’t uncommon for people to work for one company for 20 to 35 years. Many have worked for only one to three companies in their lifetime. It was the norm for employers and employees to take care of each other. But times have changed. The business climate is tougher and more competitive. In the last decade, we’ve seen more mergers, changes in management, outsourcing, redundancy and lay-offs from companies.
Employers are trying their best to survive and gain profit by increasing sales or decreasing expenses, of which the latter seems easier to control. This is why some companies have resorted to outsourcing or even contractual employment. In some cases, even long tenured employees were declared redundant by the company. Honestly, it’s cheaper with lesser obligations and headaches. However, it has its downside, too. If you outsource, you pretty much depend on outside party. If you offer contractual employment, you’ll have to keep on training new hires and make sure that your company’s service quality is consistent. For redundancy, you need to pay the long-tenured employee a separation pay.
On the other hand, employees today do not value loyalty as much. If a better opportunity comes along, most people will jump ship to another company. Many professionals job hop in order to increase their salary level. Younger generations, perhaps because they have more options, ultimately work for themselves and use companies as stepping stones for career growth. That is why employee turnover is a lot higher now. Companies invest in training their people and they lose time and money every time an employee resigns.
Job Security according to Labor Code
Job security seems to have become a grayer area nowadays. The labor code of the Philippines, however, provides protection for both employees and employers. To a certain extent, your expectations on job security can be based on what the law says.
For instance, the law secures that any employee cannot be immediately fired upon the boss’ whim or due to unjust cause. Due process on termination must be followed or else the employer can be faced with an expensive lawsuit. The law also differentiates the types of employment that employers and employees can enjoy more job security over contractual employees. Thus, it is important to choose your type of job wisely.
Another important provision in the labor code specifies situations that are allowed if a company wants to terminate an employee or a group of employees. These include prolonged and contagious illness of an employee, gross violations of company policies, financial losses of the company (this has to be filed and proven to DOLE), or business closure.
Company policies also have a say in job security. These provide a guideline on what your employer can legally do and not do to you. I urge you to read these to know how you can best protect yourself.
Not an absolute right anymore
The lingering question remains, however: Does job security still exist?
My answer would be yes, to a certain degree, but I wouldn’t count on it as an absolute right. When it comes to your career, I think it’s good to expect the best but plan for the worst. We ultimately have to be responsible for our means of living. Your current job will help pay for your chosen lifestyle, but nothing lasts forever. Do your best and hold on to your job as long as you can, if it is rewarding. On the side, create a safety net in preparation for your retirement – whether it comes early or later in life. You have to adapt with the times and be competitive as an individual. Depend on yourself, not on others, when it comes to your future. Secure yourself.
By Jhoanna O. Gan-So
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