Termination of Employment due to Health Reasons (Disease)
An employer may terminate the services of an employee who has been found to be suffering from any disease and whose continued employment is prohibited by law or is prejudicial to his health as well as the health of his co-employees. (Art. 284, LC)
Requisites for termination on the ground of disease.
- The employee suffers from a disease;
- His continued employment is prohibited by law or prejudicial to his health or to the health of his co-employees; and
- The disease is of such nature and at such a stage that it cannot be cured within a period of six months even with proper medical treatment. (Sec. 8, Title I, Bk. VI, IRR)
Certification from public health authority required
Certification by competent public health authority that the disease is of such nature and of at such a stage that it cannot be cured within a period of six months even with proper medical treatment.
Right to reinstatement if disease is curable with six months
If the disease or ailment can be cured within six months, the employer shall not terminate the employee but shall ask the employee to take a leave of absence.
The employee is entitled to be reinstated to his former position immediately upon the restoration of his normal health. (ibid.)
Disability distinguished from Disease
Disability should not be confused with disease. Disability itself, even if permanent, is not a ground for termination. The Magna Carta for Disabled Persons prohibits the termination of a disabled employee based on disability alone. This constitutes act of discrimination, a criminal offense for which fine and/or imprisonment may be imposed. (Magna Carta for Disabled Persons)
- The requirement for a medical certificate under Article 284 of the Labor Code cannot be dispensed with; otherwise, it would sanction the unilateral and arbitrary determination by the employer of the gravity or extent of the employee’s illness and thus defeat the public policy in the protection of labor. (Sy vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 142293 February 27, 2003)
Caveat: Subsequent court and administrative rulings, or changes to, or repeal of, laws, rules and regulations may have rendered the whole or part of this article inaccurate or obsolete.