I am from Philippines and I am an entry-level asp .net developer, my job is currently home based right now, and my boss is from overseas, we communicate through Skype only and he had never shown his face (privacy I guess?).

I work from 10am until 7pm normally. Sometimes I can work longer until 8pm or 9pm because he wants me to deliver the results already, and if I am working slowly or not producing the exact desired result the time can get longer. This is because most of the time there is a conflict with the technologies that he had shown than what programming language is needed to be used. In this case C# ASP .Net.

I sometimes get a deduction of wage -P100. Is it really normal to get minus salaries? Is it also normal that I get a 4 hours break which is unpaid too? I am asking because It is really hard to keep up with the bills that I have to pay, I earn like P272 in a day instead of P520 then I get penalties which is kind of depressing on my part.

I am working honestly for this man, and yet I always get this kind of treatment, please tell me if this is normal or not. If it is normal, I'll deal with it and if it's not what should I do?

I am slow at some tasks but I am definitely fast at the task when I don't encounter bugs and such, it is really stressing me out (this work and how my boss treats me), this is my second job after 7 months since my first job, I previously worked in an office for 3 months, and since my contract was not extended (because the projects were cancelled) I was not able to continue working there.

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    Lowering the salary is only legal by mutual agreement in Europe, and it is illegal to pay below minimum union wages of your field. But it might be different in Japan which feels like a much more unforgiving place for an employee. – Juha Untinen May 3 '18 at 4:49
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    I guess japan is really that different... – Raniel Quirante May 3 '18 at 5:08
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    Based on your description, and also on the comments you posted on the answer(s) below I don't see any benefit for you in this: No contract, minus salaries for "mistakes", unpaid breaks... I would definitely search for a new job, one where you get a Contract at least to shield you a bit. – DarkCygnus May 3 '18 at 5:09
  • @DarkCygnus Okay, I'll take that advise – Raniel Quirante May 3 '18 at 5:10
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    Your question is probably being down-voted because it deals very much with your personal situation in detail and doesn't have a clear goal that an answer will tell you how to reach. You also use a lot of terminology that seems to be either specific to your locality or to the company (like the 'ranks' for instance). – Cronax May 9 '18 at 10:23

In Australia the laws are such that the local laws where the worker are will be applicable. Which means what is legal in Japan may not be legal in the Philippines. I have never heard of a negative salary, that sounds illegal and immoral (in my opinion) and you should probably consider one of two options:

  1. Research your countries workplace laws and bring this up with your employer
  2. Find another employer, one who doesn't take advantage.

To answer your question, no it is not normal.

Did you sign a contract with this employer?

  • I did not sign any contract with the employer, they just sent me a pdf file about how long I will be working, my salary per hour, how many hours I will work. – Raniel Quirante May 3 '18 at 5:02
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    @DenizC "In Australia the laws are such that the local laws where the worker are will be applicable. Which means what is legal in Japan may not be legal in the Phillipines." - I am sorry but how do you go from Australian laws to Japanese and Philipines laws? Doesn't make much sense to me that train of thought. With all due respect, it is quite obvious that Laws in one country may not apply on others, so that statement does not bring much to your answer. Do you have anything else to contribute that may increase this answers' quality? – DarkCygnus May 3 '18 at 5:14
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    People downvote and close questions for the pettiest reasons on this site, dont take it personally. I'd say you have no protection in this job. A contract is not a job description, it is a legal signed document outlining rights and responsibilities of you and the employer, usually with some probation period, a period of employment or a statement saying it is permanent. It will show what is expected of you and what you will be paid. If you dont have a document along these lines you don't have a contract and you are what we call a sole trader (freelancer) and anything goes. – solarflare May 3 '18 at 5:15
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    @DenizC I think your answer has it's own merit, despite that confusing part (Australia == Phillipines), that is why I didn't vote on it at all, and is why I left a constructive comment for you to consider and perhaps edit your post in the hopes of improvement. Besides, OP already got your input (even if you improve it or not), as well as he can get more input from comments. I am sorry if "people like me are ruining the site"; I am trying to help you actually :) – DarkCygnus May 3 '18 at 5:21
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    @DenizC & Dark, thank you for the advise that you gave to me, I'll try finding a different job where I can have a signed contract in order for me to have a protection against such employers... This is really helps me a lot... Thank you – Raniel Quirante May 3 '18 at 5:22

It is not normal. In every country whose laws I know, it is actually illegal not to pay you for the time you have worked.

I would think that Japan is a civilised country, and in that case what he is doing is illegal. Whether legal or illegal, it is totally unacceptable. Look for a new job as soon as possible.

PS. A signed contract is nice, but what you really need is an employer who is not a criminal. Since what he is doing is likely illegal, signed contract or no signed contract, that kind of person likely would not be stopped by a signed contract.


Ok, first - we do not know whether it is legal or not because we do not know your legal status. You may think you are an employee, but I am somehow sure they see you as contractor, and you are likely illegal because you are not running a registered business but just get money. Not sure how the philippines work, but I really doubt your japanese boss has registered with the proper authorities for a wage of around 10 USD per day and goes through all the paperwork.

Now, if you are a contractor then pretty much everything is legal. On top, what you mean with illegal? As in: How you think to enforce something like that? Fly to Japan to take him to small claims court? This is the trick here - the amounts are so trivial (for the japanese side) that "legal" does not matter. You either live with it, or you get another job - but there is no sensible way to enforce it. You can not afford the legal way. Even if you have a legal standing in the philippines, enforcement in Japan will not really be something you can afford. Sucks - but life is not fair. Period.

Second, it is not normal to have a negative wage. But then, you also raise a lot of really red flags in your own description, for example:

"I am slow at some tasks but I am definitely fast at the task when I don't encounter bugs and such," - this is like a cook daying "I can keep up with cooking when there is only one customer in the restaurant". Bugs and such are part of programming. It only gets worse if you are not entry level because the work actually gets harder.

So, you need a reality check about your work. You may be slow. But then the daily wage you talk about is EXTREMELY low for the japanese side. If yo uare alone - i.e. not part of a team where you can learn - and the work is small enough, you likely are taken advantage of. If this is part of a larger team, you still are - but then you may acutally spend some months learning. Does not sounds like this.

You should basically look for another job. You should also ahve a heart to heart talk with your boss, which may not really be easy, possibly also with some cultural minefields. Until you have another job offer you basically are in a very weak negotiating position.

  • I don't know the laws of the Philippines, but taking the UK as an example, working as a contractor without registering a business is absolutely fine and legal. You are self employed, and for taxes you give your income on your self assessment form, which you can do I think up to 9 months after the end of the tax year. If I started self employment right now (May 2018), I would have until about January 2020 to fill out my self assesment forms and be totally legal. – gnasher729 May 3 '18 at 9:58
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    Hook up your resume here. At least someoone may be able to give you some additional work for those 4 hour breaks. Which may end up doubling your income. – TomTom May 3 '18 at 14:41
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    There are also freelancing platforms where you might be able to find more projects. Google for freelance platform and look through the ones you find. One of them specifically is targeted at online, with lots of development jobs. – simbabque May 9 '18 at 8:23
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    Yeah. Most of ridiculously low paid development jobs. I suggest yo ustart updating your profile - email would be nice, some references etc., put up a profile here. – TomTom May 9 '18 at 8:29
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    @RanielQuirante Just looking at your resume, some points: 1: Sign up on LinkedIn. Your social networks are "awkward" for a professional - linkedin is for professionals what facebook is for... private life sort of. YOu want to be profesional. 2; there is no way to contact you outside of facebook or a phone call. Email is standard. Both mean, for example, you are missing an email from me at the moment. I have no way to contact you. – TomTom May 10 '18 at 10:54

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