Certificate of Employment: Samples & Templates

Last Updated Jan 12, 2022 @ 10:07 am

Your employees are the foundation of your business. This is why you need to do everything in your power to take care of them and make them feel valued.

One of the ways you can do this is to give them a Certificate of Employment upon request.

This essential business document serves a lot of purpose for your employees especially when it comes to processing affairs.

Without a certificate of employment or COE, they do not have proof that they have a steady income stream to pay for various obligations, or prior work experience in an industry.

To help you understand what a Certificate of Employment is, we’ve compiled this guide for you.

What is Certificate of Employment (COE)?

According to the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Labor Code of the Philippines, dismissed and current workers are entitled to receive a Certificate of Employment.

Because this certificate is a right that is given by the law, employers are required to grant this certificate. However, employees cannot dictate what goes on this document since the content is up to the management to decide.

Any dispute that happens out of the issuance of this certificate shall be filed before a DOLE Regional, Provincial, or Field Office which has jurisdiction over the area.

What’s the purpose of a Certificate of Employment in the Philippines?

There are many purposes of a Certificate of Employment.

Applying for a new work

Naturally, an employee would try to find new work after their employment has been terminated.

Before they can do this, they must obtain a COE to enable companies to assess whether or not they are qualified based on their previous work experience. The COE serves as evidence that they have experience working in a certain field.

Financial applications

This document is not only essential when an employee has been dismissed, but also while they are still working for the company. The COE is vital for any type of financial application such as loans, or credit cards.

Employees must prove to banks and other financial institutions that they are financially capable to pay their obligations. The COE verifies that they regularly receive a salary. Employees can also request to specify their salary in the certificate.

Visa applications

If an employee wants to visit another country, they can present a COE upon visa application. This is because when one has a stable job within the country, it means they will surely return to their home country after their overseas trip.

Examples of Issuance Purpose for COE

The Certificate of Employment can be requested by an employee to serve whatever legal purpose. Most HR Officers insist that the issuance purpose must be indicated.

Here are some phrases to choose from if you want to include an issuance purpose in the COE:

  • This Certificate of Employment is issued for whatever legal purpose it may serve
  • This Certificate of Employment is issued as per request of the abovementioned employee
  • This Certificate of Employment is issued as part of the requirements for the Housing Loan of the abovementioned employee
  • This Certificate of Employment is issued as per request of the abovementioned employee

What are the details that should be included in a COE?

According to the guidelines issued by DOLE, the Certificate of Employment should contain these key information:

  • Date of employment
  • Date of employment termination
  • Types of work performed

Considering these, one can conclude that the COE proves three things.

  • First, the employee was employed by the issuer of the certificate
  • Second, the employee performed a specific function within the company; and
  • Third, the employee performed his/her functions within the mentioned time period

Is COE a legal document?

Certificate of Employment is mentioned in Section 10, Rule XIV, Book V, of the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code of the Philippines.1

Therefore, it is a right given by the law. The only time an employer can refuse a request for COE is when someone requesting for the document was not hired in the present or past.

However, bear in mind that a COE simply proves an employee’s record of service. It is not a clearance or a recommendation or endorsement. It is also not a certificate of good standing or good moral character.

Cerfiticate of Employment (COE) Templates & Samples

The certificate of Employment should contain all the information required by the law.

However, there is no standard Certificate of Employment template and every company can have its own format.

To make the job easier, you can use templates. Here are some free examples.

Direct download links of templates:

Certificate of Employment in the Philippines FAQs

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about COE.

When should a COE be released or issued?

Certificate of Employment must be issued within 3 days upon request, regardless of its purpose. This may be construed to 3 working days.

How to request for a COE from your employer?

Certificate of Employment must be issued within 3 days upon request, regardless of its purpose. This may be construed to 3 working days.

Is a certificate of employment the same with clearance?

From a legal standpoint, the two are different. The clearance focuses more on unfinished businesses, liabilities, and pending tasks, while the certificate of employment only proves that you have worked for a company.

Can contractual or project-based personnel receive or request for a COE?

Yes. As long as a person was employed for a period and performed duties for the company, they can ask for COE.2

Can an employer refuse to give a COE to an employee?

Employers cannot refuse the issuance of the certificate because it is under the law. It should also be released as soon as possible.

The only instance COE issuances can be refused is if the employee has not rendered any service to the company.

Who is entitled to be issued with a COE?

Employees who submitted a resignation or were terminated by their employer are still entitled to a COE, according to the law.
Because it’s not a form of clearance that certifies an employee has been cleared by the company, COE should also not be withheld from employees who have not been cleared from their liabilities.
However, for HR Officers that worry the COE may be misconstrued as a clearance, they can specify in the COE that the document does not clear the employee for any of their liabilities.

Additionally, COE can also be requested even if an employee is still employed by the company since they may use it for financial or visa applications.


  1. Paladins of Law
  2. Vyron Loares

About MJ de Castro

MJ de Castro is the lead personal finance columnist at Grit PH.

MJ started her career as a writer for her local government’s City Information Office. Later on, she became a news anchor on PTV Davao del Norte.

Wanting to break free from the shackles of her 9-to-5 career to live by the beach, she pursued remote work. Over the years, she has developed a wide specialization on health, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, branding, and travel.

Now, she juggles writing professionally, her business centering on women’s menstrual health, and surfing.

Education: Ateneo de Davao University (AB Mass Communication)
Focus: Personal Finance, Personal Development, Entrepreneurship, & Marketing

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