Certificate of Employment and What You Need to Know

May 2, 2018

Do you know that under the Labor Code of the Philippines, an employee is entitled to a certificate of employment (COE)? That’s right. By analogy, resigned employees are entitled to COE.

Section 10, Rule 14, Book 5 of the Labor Code states that a dismissed worker shall be entitled to receive, on request, a certificate from his/her employer specifying the dates of his/her engagement and termination and the type or types of work on which he/she was employed.

Once an employee requests for it, the employer must issue it. However, let us be clear. A COE is different from a clearance. It is merely a service record of an employee. Hence, when an employee asks for a COE, the employer may indicate a disclaimer in the COE itself saying among others, “This certification is not equivalent to employee’s clearance”. An employer may indicate notes or disclaimers. The law does not say any prohibition so long as the remarks are not defamatory or libelous in nature.

Here’s a sample certificate of employment with a disclaimer:



To Whom It May Concern:

This is to certify that Mr./Ms. ____________________ has been employed with ABC Corporation as
Secretary doing general administrative work for 5 years from ____________ to

This certification is being issued upon his/her request for whatever purpose it may

Disclaimer: This certification is not one and the same with the company clearance.


Feel free to copy and edit the sample above. Just please observe fair play in doing so. I hope this article sheds light. Have a good day!


So I have received a message from Twitter. I’d like to apologize because I wasn’t able to reply right away. It was sent late of 2018 and today is already May, 2019. I don’t usually check my Twitter messages. Maybe I should every now and then.

So the question asked was this:

On your blog you talk about the certificate of employment and the company clearance. We have a virtual assistant in the phillipines who just asked for a certificate of employment. What is the company clearance?

And should I take this as a sign that he may be quitting?

My full answer with no edit:

That is a good question. Actually, it could be a yes or a no. Some employees ask for a certificate of employment (COE to make it short), just to secure it. Some banks, credit card processors, loan companies asks for it when an employee applies for a loan, credit card, phone line, etc. so your employee may just need it for that purpose.

Based on my HR experience though, some employees also ask this to ready their documents in case they are already contemplating of leaving or looking for another job. That is why, in our previous company, we created a request form to be filled out by employees whenever they request for a COE. The request form already asks: “reason of COE request”. Just so we can get a glimpse on the purpose. But pf course, they may or may not tell the truth.

A company clearance on the other hand is normally a document showing that the employee is “cleared” of any accountability from the company. It is up to you if you will implement or issue it as an employer. It is more of like an internal document really.

Here’s one I created using Notes from iPhone. Feel free to edit/tweak/improve:

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