Occasionally, some organizations will assess your work history before interviewing you or making a job offer. If you have a certificate of employment (COE), you can help these companies verify your experience or employment status. After all, a COE shows your work history and other relevant details.
Let’s take a closer look at what this document is and how you can ask your employer to provide you with a copy.
What is a Certificate of Employment?
A certificate of employment is a document that an employee can request from their employer. It contains specific information about your experience at your previous or current company.
In general, a COE declares that:
- Your employer hired you
- You performed specific tasks and responsibilities within a certain period
What Details are Included in a COE?
A certificate of employment usually contains your first and last day of employment. Your employer may also state the duties and responsibilities you’ve performed or positions held while working at the company.
Your HR department may include other information in your COE, however, like your current pay or overall performance at work.
When Can You Request for a COE?
Now that we know what a COE is, the next question is: when can you request for one?
Applying for a New Job
Potential employers will check your employment history during the candidate assessment process. A certificate of employment will show that you’re qualified for the position you’re applying for because of your work experience.
Getting a Loan or Credit Card
You can also request a COE if you’re applying for a loan or credit card. A bank may require this document to verify that you’re employed and can make the required payments. In this case, you can request your employer or HR officer to include your current pay in your COE.
Applying for a Travel Visa
A COE can help you get a travel visa from another country. If you’re working, you can assure foreign authorities that you’re returning home after your visit. This explains why people submit COEs to the embassies of the countries they plan to visit.
Who Can Request a Certificate of Employment?
All employees are entitled to a COE. Companies can provide this document for former or current workers, regardless of tenure or the type of employment. So whether you’re a long-time employee who recently left a company or a part-time worker, you’re free to ask for and receive a COE.
Can My Employer Refuse to Give Me a Certificate of Employment?
In some cases, your company may hold back from issuing you a COE. This could happen if you’ve been hired as a contractual or project-based worker or been terminated by just or legal cause.
Any delays in receiving your COE could result from your company’s clearance process or if you haven’t been cleared of your responsibilities.
If you check the Implementing Rules of the Philippine Labor Code, it doesn’t mention types of termination and employment. The Labor Advisory on final pay from The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Labor Code’s Implementing Rules state that COEs only help verify an employee’s work for their company. So this means there’s no reason for your employer to refuse to issue your COE after you file a request.
What’s the Difference Between a COE & Clearance Form?
A certificate of employment isn’t the same as a work clearance document. After all, your COE serves as formal proof that you’ve worked for your former or current employer.
Meanwhile, a clearance form lists down unfinished work and unfulfilled responsibilities. Once accomplished, it declares that you’ve finished all necessary tasks before leaving the company.
How Do I Get a Certificate of Employment?
If you need a COE from your employer, get in touch with your HR officer. You can ask for a certificate through a formal request letter. When writing the letter, include the following details:
- Why you’re writing the letter - Start your letter by telling your employer or HR officer that you need a certificate of employment.
- What to include in your COE - List the details you want your employer to include in your COE like your current position (or all the roles and job title changes), date of employment, and salary (if necessary).
- When you need the certificate - Ask your employer or HR officer if they can issue your COE within a specific timeframe.
Don’t forget to include your personal details in your request letter for a certificate of employment, such as your full name and contact details.
When Should My Employer Issue the Certificate?
In its Labor Advisory on final pay, DOLE encourages employers to issue COEs within three days. However, DOLE doesn’t state how long employers can issue a COE to employees that have already resigned.
On a similar note, DOLE doesn’t mention any specific reasons companies issue COEs to former employees. After all, some employers may no longer have the records of these former workers in their database.
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A certificate of employment gives organizations a clearer picture of your employment history. It discloses your employment status, roles and responsibilities, tenure, and other relevant details.
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