Hiring Filipinos requires some cultural sensitivity in order to be respected by your worker. Filipinos are both very family and tradition oriented and will expect certain days paid off to spend with their families. You should be conscientious about any special family events or cultural holidays that your virtual assistant might want to celebrate with their families.
Public Holidays for Filipino Outsourcers
The following holidays are the ones your VA is likely to observe. If you hire a virtual assistant full-time, then it’s highly advised to give him or her these paid days off.
• January 1 — New Years Day
• March / April – Holy Week, which occurs somewhere between the third week of March to the second week of April. The 2 particular days where almost no one in the Philipines works includes Maundy Thursday (the day before Good Friday) and Good Friday
• April 9 — Araw ng Kagitingan aka Day of Valor
• May 1 — Labor Day
• June 12 — Philipine’s Independence Day
• August (last Sunday of August) — National Heroes’ Day
• November 1 — All Saints’ Day
• November 2 – All Souls’ Day
• November 30 — Andrés Bonifacio Day
• December 25—Christmas Day
The following are special nonworking days as declared by the Philippine government:
• August 21 or any weekday nearest August 21st — Ninoy Aquino Day
• December 24 – Christmas Eve
• December 31 – New Year’s Eve
If you’re curious, you can read more about these Philippine holidays on Wikipedia.
Which Paid Holidays to Give Your Worker?
Wow, so that’s lots of holidays. Keep in mind that Filipino people are very traditional and very Catholic so religious holidays are important. Make sure to give your Filipino freelancers days off when the particular holiday involves time spent with family. So to pair it down a bit, let’s focus on the essential holidays to pay your Filipino worker. These will usually be the 2 days in Holy Week (Maundy Thursday & Good Friday), All Saints & All Souls Day (November 1 & 2), Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s day. Pay for time off on those core Filipino holidays (and make allowances for some unpaid time off for some other holidays) and you should be good with your freelancer.
Cash Bonuses and the 13th Month
You should give your worker the occasional cash bonus to keep their spirits up. It’s also customary in the Philippines to pay a worker a 13th month (usually around the second week in December). You can prorate this amount you’ve only worked with the worker for part of the year. For example, if you hired them in June of that year, you would only pay them one half of a months salary when the second week of December rolled around.
Other Considerations when Hiring a Filipino Outsourcer
- Filipinos often live with their families and don’t have a private workspace.
- Be very specific about your job requirements so that there is no misunderstanding between you and your virtual worker asked to what’s expected of them. To make things even more specific, you should break your project into milestones such that the worker knows that they’re following the right track.
- Make sure who you hire has the required skills. Bluffing is an art form well practiced by many outsourcers who will say they have the necessary skills when they actually don’t. It’s a good idea to require your applicants to perform an example task so that they must demonstrate the skill to you for you before they are hired (and if it’s going to take more than a half hour to complete the task then you should pay them for their time).
- Be kind to your worker and don’t antagonize them or God forbid lose your temper at them. Filipinos tend to be non-confrontational but very loyal as long as the sense you are a fair employee.