Extent of Joint and Solidarily Liability in Contracting or Subcontracting

The joint and several liability of the employer or principal was enacted to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Code, principally those on statutory minimum wage. The contractor or subcontractor is made liable by virtue of his or her status as a direct employer, and the principal as the indirect employer of the contractors employees. This liability facilitates, if not guarantees, payment of the workers compensation, thus, giving the workers ample protection as mandated by the 1987 Constitution. This is not unduly burdensome to the employer. Should the indirect employer be constrained to pay the workers, it can recover whatever amount it had paid in accordance with the terms of the service contract between itself and the contractor.

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Obligations of the Principal in a Contract of Agency

To be bound by obligations contracted by agent

The principal is required to comply with all the obligations which the agent may have contracted within the scope of his authority.[1] The principal cannot set up the ignorance of the agent as to circumstances whereof the principal himself was, or ought to have been, aware.[2]

Unless the principal expressly or tacitly ratifies an ultra vires act of the agent, the principal is not bound to any obligations where the agent has exceeded his powers.[3]

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