Frequently Asked Questions to help you with your offshore outsourcing requirements

About Satellite Office

Why choose Satellite Office?

Satellite Office is a premium offshore services provider offering superior levels of service across our end-to-end solution. We have experienced cross-cultural management team composed of Filipinos and expatriates with years of experience in the BPO industry as well as dealing with foreign clients and businesses of all scales. We always keep communication lines open and ensure transparency in all processes, so our clients are continually up-to-date and informed about their business operations in the Philippines.

In addition, Satellite Office is the only known provider with highly skilled and experienced management teams based permanently in Australia, US and the Philippines.

What sets Satellite Office apart from other offshoring companies in the Philippines?

We provide highly consultative outsourcing services to our clients and take a partnership approach.

Our unique value proposition begins with our Account Management presence in Sydney and US which helps us to deliver a personal, ‘hand holding’ approach to our clients which continues through the life of the client. The Sydney Team is headed up by Michael, who brings a high level of business expertise and change management experience having headed up both public and private companies. Our team in Manila is led by Jeff Blake, a highly experienced senior executive having worked for more than 20 years in the BPO Philippines / offshoring sector. Jeff is responsible for all operations and support services performed in Manila for Satellite Office. This combination of highly experienced senior executive talent provides a strong point of difference to other outsourcing companies.

In addition, our specialized offshore recruitment professionals aim to recruit the best talent for any given role at the agreed budget. Our approach is to partner with our clients, by understanding their business and talent requirements, across technical and non-technical roles, to build their own teams sourced from a highly experienced, English speaking, and university educated talent pool. Each person we endorse for processing has been finely screened to match the client’s specific needs and our in-depth research of the Philippines outsourcing talent market. We focus on quality, and efficiency, continuously communicating with all points of contact to ensure that hires are not only the best fit for the job specification, but are also a great cultural match for our client, maximizing the opportunity for them to contribute towards the growth and success of our clients.

Our on-going quality of services and operations also ensures an above industry average for client and staff retention. Satellite Office invests considerable time and resources into creating an exceptional work environment, both within our facilities as well as extra activities and engagement outside of the work environment.

About Offshoring and Outsourcing in the Philippines

Why offshore or outsource to the Philippines?

SMEs and multinational corporations from across the globe such as JP Morgan Chase, IBM, and Accenture have outsourced and offshored jobs in the Philippines because of the following factors:

  • Lower cost in labor and operational expenditure
  • Professional and reliable work ethic
  • Globally competitive and educated labor force
  • Strong proficiency in the English language and Western culture
  • Excellent infrastructure and continued investment

What services can be outsourced or offshored to the Philippines?

The Philippines is the leading contact centre hub in the world because of the Filipinos’ strong proficiency in English. However, the Philippines is also a global leader in a wide variety of other knowledge-based disciplines, processes and tasks, taking advantage of the country’s talented population and low labour costs. These include roles across all areas of Customer Service, Sales and Lead Generation, Digital Marketing, Design and Content Management, IT and Development, as well as Finance and Back-Office Processing

Read more about this in the Areas of Expertise section.

How much time do we need to recruit candidates for our business in the Philippines?

This depends on the number of candidates you need and their skill sets. Generally speaking, Satellite Office can post job advertisements, complete the endorsement, skills testing, interview and selection process (with your final approval) within 4 to 6 weeks for technical roles, or 3 to 4 weeks for non-technical roles. In addition, it is standard to allow for a 4 week notice period after signing the employment contract, resulting in 7 to 8 weeks before the staff have commenced employment.

Read more about this in the Talent Recruitment section.

How long does it take to set up an office in the Philippines?

With a serviced office, you can set up your operations in a short space of time, usually within 1 week (subject to availability). The impact on timing is usually gaining a full understanding of the specific IT and telecommunication requirements. This is normally completed either during the Initial Assessment or in parallel during the recruitment process so as not to impact overall timing.

Read more about this in the Office Spaces section.

About Risks in Offshoring

How do I ensure that the employees possess the skills and attitude needed for the job?

Our highly experienced and specialized offshore recruitment team use a great combination of established recruitment processes together with new and advanced cloud-based recruitment tools, including video interviews and selective skills-based testing. This allows us to effectively screen the employees we are hiring and evaluate if it matches the client requirements. The clients are also involved in the interview and selection processes to ensure that all employees hired are a great fit for any given position. Our recruitment process also includes conducting a thorough character reference check.

Can I cancel the staff leasing service if the process is completed & there isn't a suitable candidate?

To date, clients have not experienced difficulty in finding the employee they need in the Philippines. However, in case this occurs, clients would only be invoiced once a candidate has successfully signed an employment contract (with the client’s final approval) and they commence employment.

How does Satellite Office protect intellectual property?

The following issues are key to intellectual property:

  • Creation: The employment contract explicitly states that all work created by your Staff while performing their duties are taken to be your exclusive property.
  • Protection: Satellite Office has a range of physical, systems based and contractual protection mechanisms to protect your intellectual property by preventing theft or breaches in confidentiality. Satellite Office maintains a highly secure work environment monitored by security personnel, including Biometric access, Employee ID and proximity cards as well as additional security measures. There are Non-Disclosure and Confidentiality Policies which all Staff are obligated to follow.

How can my Staff securely deliver finished work?

Your Staff only take direction from you in relation to their day-to-day tasks. You need to instruct them and direct them in this regard. In relation to security, we can assist you achieve a highly secure work environment, in a similar way to your local office, or in many instances an improvement on this. If required, clients are also able to establish a virtual private network (VPN) to our office.

In the event of a system failure, is Satellite Office under obligation to fix the system?

Satellite Office provides full system backup and 24/7 IT support from our central NOC, which covers provision of emergency power, redundant internet connection, and other amenities necessary for business operations. This provision is included in our client proposal and agreement.

About Benefits and Termination

What is the total cost for the Staff?

The total cost for the Staff is an all-inclusive fee including 2 components, being the Direct Staff Costs as well as the Monthly Solution Fee:

Satellite Office does not include any mark-up or generate any fees for the Direct Staff Costs. These costs include Gross Salary, Mandatory 13th Month Pay, Private Medical Insurance, General Life Insurance and Employer Statutory Costs. These costs can also include optional staff bonuses, or the provision for a free lunch.

The Monthly Solution Fee includes the provision of the complete Managed Solution, including Serviced Office, Staff Leasing, IT Support, HR, Payroll and other support services.

Significant cost savings of between $30,000 to $90,000 are achieved per person, depending on the role, compared to the US equivalent

Is it possible to provide a medical benefit for the employees?

Yes. Aside from the government-mandated Philhealth contribution, Satellite Office provides an additional healthcare insurance for all employees as well as dependents where approved. The cost for the health cover for the employee only is approximately PHP 1,000 (AUD $26) a month.

What will happen if after several months we don't want an employee because of the quality of his work?

In a Philippine BPO company, staff generally have a 6-month Probationary Period. During this period, there are evaluation pit-stops on the 3rd and 5th months of employment. Satellite Office will assist in ensuring performance evaluation is managed in accordance with the local labor code by providing proof and necessary documents.

The 5th month will be the deciding month to confirm the status of the employee into a regular post. Employee may be terminated at any time during the probationary period due to failure to meet prescribed performance standards or if there is a just cause (defined under the labour code).

However, for regularized BPO employees with more than 6 months tenure, employers will need to provide 1-month notice and severance pay equivalent to years of tenure (i.e. 1-month x years of service). Unless there is a justifiable ground for termination and due process is covered as per labour law.

About Philippine Labor Law

What are the normal hours of work of an employee?

The normal hours work of an employee shall not exceed 8 hours a day and shall have a maximum of 40 hours a week. If made to work in excess of 40 hours, staff are entitled to Overtime Pay, which is at least a 25% premium charged on the hourly rate for the overtime worked, based on an ordinary day.

Can the normal hours be less than 8?

Yes. The law sets a maximum number of hours but does not prohibit work done less than eight hours. Thus, part-time work is allowed and pay corresponding to the actual hours worked will be paid.

What is overtime?

Overtime Work is work rendered beyond 8 hours. Every hour worked in excess of 8 hours earns an additional pay of 25%. The rate is 30% if done on a rest day or holiday.

How much should a part-time worker earn?

The wage and benefits of a part-time worker are in proportion to the number of hours worked. Assuming that he should be earning P400.00 for an eight-hour work, he shall then get P200.00 for work done in four hours.

Can overtime not be paid because of undertime on another day?

No, the law prohibits offsetting overtime with undertime on another day. The hourly rate of overtime is higher than the hours missed in cases of undertime.

Who are covered by the rules on overtime?

Generally, everyone is covered by the law on overtime. However, the following have been exempted by the law: managerial personnel, government employees, non agricultural field personnel whose hours of work cannot be determined, family members dependent upon the employer for support, househelpers, those in the personal employ of another, and piece rate workers.

Is work done between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 am paid higher than normal?

Yes. Under the Labour Code, every employee shall be paid a night shift differential of not less than 10% of his regular wage for each hour of work performed between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am the following day.

What is a weekly rest day?

It is the required rest period of not less than 24 consecutive hours after every six normal workdays.

How much is the pay for work on a rest day?

The compensation is the regular wage plus 30% thereof.

How much is work on a Sunday paid?

The compensation is the regular wage unless Sunday happens to be the rest day of the employee. If Sunday is the rest day, the employee shall be entitled to the additional 30% pay.

Who chooses the rest day?

The employer shall determine the weekly rest day. However, the employer shall respect the preference of employees as to their weekly rest day when such reference is based on religious grounds.

What is Holiday Pay?

Holiday Pay refers to pay received by an employee on the occasion of a regular holiday or special day. In the case of regular holidays, the employee is paid even if he/she did not work. He/She receives double pay if he/she works on a regular holiday. In the case of a special day (see below), the employee is not paid if he/she does not report for work. But if the employee works on a special day, he/she is entitled to 130% of her usual pay.

What are leaves?

These are days when employees may still be paid despite their absence from work. The leaves allowed by law are discussed below, but the employer may add (not subtract) to these leaves as part of the benefits provided to staff or under a negotiated Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

What are leaves under the law?

Service Incentive Leave
Service Incentive Leave Pay is the benefit of employees to avail of leave with pay for 5 days provided he/she has rendered service for at least one year.

Maternity Leave
A female member of the Social Security System (SSS) who has paid at least 3 monthly contributions in the twelve-month period immediately preceding the semester of her childbirth or miscarriage shall be paid a daily maternity benefit equivalent to 100% of her average daily salary. The benefit is for 105 days paid leave for live childbirth regardless of the mode of delivery. Solo parents are given additional 15 days for a total of 120 days paid leave. In case of miscarriage or early termination of pregnancy, entitlement is for 60 days paid leave. The female employee shall receive full pay consisting of the SSS maternity benefit and the salary differential to be paid by the employer if any.

Leaves under RA 9262
Women victims of violence provided under R.A. 9262 of the Anti-Violence against Women and their Children Act are entitled to a paid leave of absence from work up to 10 days.

Solo Parents’ Leave
Persons who fall under the definition of solo parents and who have rendered service of at least one year are entitled to 7 working days of leave to attend to their parental duties.

Paternity Leave
The law provides for paternity leave of 7 days with full pay to all married male employees in the private and public sectors. It is only available for the first four (4) deliveries of the legitimate spouse with whom the employee is cohabiting.

Leaves under RA 9710
The Magna Carta of Women introduced a 2-month leave for women with full pay based on gross monthly compensation, for women employees who undergo surgery caused by gynecological disorders, provided that they have rendered continuous aggregate employment service of at least six (6) months for the last twelve (12) months.

Generally, what is the rule on wages?

Under Philippine law, wages are remunerations or earnings for services rendered. Employers and employees may agree on rate but should not fall below the minimum wages set by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPB) which has jurisdiction over the place of work. You can find the rate of minimum wage by going to the website of the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC).

Employee wages are intended to be paid in full to the employee in Philippine legal tender. So while payment by check and through automated teller machines (ATMs) are allowed, vouchers, promissory notes and gift certificates are not. Deductions from employee wages are generally frowned upon with only a few allowed by law including income tax, contributions to social welfare agencies such as SSS and Pag-lbig, and union dues under appropriate agreements.

Minimum Wage Earners Exempt from Income Tax?

A new law passed in 2008 exempts minimum wage earners from paying income taxes. Because of this, no deductions will be made from their pay on the basis of income tax.

What is a Bonus?

Bonus is the amount granted for employee’s industry and loyalty, which is generally discretional. However, there have been times when the grant of bonuses have been considered as long standing practice and therefore cannot be simply withheld without cause.

What is 13th month pay?

13th month pay is the 1/12 of the basic salary earned by the employee during the year. It is compulsory and to be given not later than December 24 of the year.

See all the Philippine Labor Law here on this link

Future-proof your business. Build your offshore team today.