Computation of pay for holidays: Regular, special non-working, special working

One of the more confusing matters, for employees and HR people alike, is the computation of holiday pay, complicated by the fact that there are different “kinds” of holidays. This is cleared by Memorandum Circular No. 1 of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the full text of which is reproduced and discussed below.

(8 March 2004)

Pursuant to the provisions of the Labor Code, as amended in relation to the observance of declared holidays and in response to the queries received every time a Presidential Proclamation or a law is enacted by Congress which declares certain days either as a regular holiday, a special day or a special working holiday, the following guidelines shall be observed by all employers in the private sector:

1. For regular holidays as provided for under EO 203 (incorporated in EO 292) as amended by RA 9177:

New Year’s Day – January 1
Maundy Thursday – Movable Date
Good Friday – Movable Date
Araw ng Kagitingan – April 9
Labor Day – May 1
Independence Day – June 12
National Heroes Day- Last Sunday of August
Bonifacio Day – November 30
Eidul Fitr – Movable Date
Christmas Day – December 25
Rizal Day – December 30

the following rules shall apply:

1. If it is an employee’s regular workday

* If unworked – 100%
* If worked

  • 1st 8 hours – 200%
  • excess of 8 hours – plus 30% of hourly rate on said day

2. If it is an employee’s rest day

* If unworked – 100%
* If worked

  • 1st 8 hours – plus 30% of 200%
  • excess of 8 hours – plus 30% of hourly rate on said day

2. For declared special days such as Special Non-Working Day, Special Public Holiday, Special National Holiday, in addition to the two (2) nationwide special days (November 1, All Saints Day and December 31, Last Day of the Year) listed under EO 203, as amended, the following rules shall apply:

1. If unworked

* No pay, unless there is a favorable company policy, practice or collective bargaining agreement (CBA) granting payment of wages on special days even if unworked.

2. If worked

* 1st 8 hours – plus 30% of the daily rate of 100%
* excess of 8 hours – plus 30% of hourly rate on said day

3. Falling on the employee’s rest day and if worked

* 1st 8 hours – plus 50% of the daily rate of 100%
* excess of 8 hours – plus 30% of hourly rate on said day

3. For those declared as special working holidays, the following rules shall apply:

For work performed, an employee is entitled only to his basic rate. No premium pay is required since work performed on said days is considered work on ordinary working days.

Please be guided accordingly.


Note: If you still don’t know it yet, one of the more helpful government websites is that of the DOLE. It boasts of useful features such as the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), and, to my delight, a fully functional email-query system.

To test the email-query system, I sent a query regarding holiday pay for regular holidays falling on the employee’s rest day (in this case, 29 April 2006, Araw ng Kagitingan). In an hour or so, I received a reply. Here’s my e-mail:


I write in connection with DOLE Memorandum Circular No. 01, which provides a summary of an employee’s entitlement to holiday pay for regular, special working and special non-working holidays.

As stated in said Circular, if a regular holiday falls on an employee’s rest day and it is UNWORKED, the employee receives 100% of his/her daily salary. This, however, has caused confusion because some MONTHLY-paid employees believe that they are entitled to an additional payment of one day. This is exacerbated by the news item which appeared on 7 April 2006 on your website (“DOLE issues Araw ng Kagitingan pay rules“), which states that “[i]f the day falls on an employee’s rest day and is unworked, he or she is paid on that day. xxx” Kindly clarify that there should be a distinction between monthly-paid and daily-paid employees, as the former is deemed paid for the entire month, even on regular holidays.

Your usual prompt action on this matter is highly appreciated.

Here’s the reply:

Dear Mr. Pamaos:

Good afternoon.

Anent your query, MONTHLY PAID EMPLOYEE refers to one who is paid his wage or salary for every day of the month, including rest days, Sundays, regular or special days, although he does not regularly work on these days.

DAILY PAID EMPLOYEE refers to one who is paid his wage or salary only on the days he actually worked, except in cases of regular holidays wherein he is paid his wage or salary even if he does not work during those days, provided that he is present or on leave of absence with pay on the working day immediately preceding the regular holiday.

As distinguished from monthly-paid employees who are assured of being paid for every day of the month, the provision of the Labor Code on holiday pay is principally intended to benefit a daily-paid employee who is normally bound by the principle of “no work no pay”. Before the advent of the Labor Code, they are not paid for unworked regular holidays.

We hope that this answers your query.

Please be informed that our opinion on the matter is strictly advisory and may not be invoked in any court of law or before any administrative body.

Thank you for writing.

Legal Service, DOLE

By the way, please note that the opinion contained in the reply is merely “advisory” and, for one reason or another, you may not necessarily agree that it’s correct.

Nevertheless, credit must be given where it is due. Congratulations to the DOLE’s electronic portal team.

(Added: Please note that Congress enacted R.A. 9492, rationalizing the celebration of national holidays. Here’s the list of 2008 holidays.)

104 thoughts on “Computation of pay for holidays: Regular, special non-working, special working

  1. Ma. Kristina

    I am a regular employee. Our HR informed us that they will only pay our national holidays or declared special non- working holidays if we report for work before and after. Saturday and Sunday is my rest day. and the holiday fall on Monday. So they urged me to come to work on Friday. Ever since that I worked in big famous companies, it was not like that. All I know is if it fall Sunday, I must report to work Tuesday. I did not know that I have to come before and after. Like the last time, the election that fall on Monday, They said I have to report on Friday and Tuesday. Will you please give me the correct answer please because I know it is not like that. Thank you

  2. florabel

    hi sir, good day.. my question is, what if i was able to absent on the day prior to holiday .. is there any possibility that i can render my holiday pay or not??

    thank you..

  3. Rosey


    For special non working holidays, our standing policy is “No work – No Pay”.
    Now, what about those Monthly-paid employees, are they entitled to receive pay on special non working holidays even if they did not report to work?


  4. JM

    I just want to ask. What if an employee gets SIL a day before holiday with pay. Does her holiday won’t get paid because the employee got SIL a day before holiday? The finance said that it is written/rule in DOLE. Thank you so much for responding.

  5. Jeric

    Good day

    I’m working in a call center company and the company is not paying holiday if the holiday falls on your day off, I ask them regarding on this and they show me the dole hand bank, they told me that since they’re using the computation to get our hourly rate we will not be pay if the holiday falls on our off, please advice us if this is legal and accordance with the law.

    3. For those who do not work and are not considered paid on Saturdays and Sundays or rest days

    Applicable Daily Rate (ADR) x 261u = EEMR 12 months

    Where 261 days/year = 246 ordinary working days 12 regular holidays 3 special days (if considered paid; if actually worked, this is equivalent to 3.9 days) 261 Total equivalent no. of days/year

    (Here’s the link : 2016 Revised Handbook)


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