Saliha Naila Abdullah Takes A Look At The 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law
Saliha Naila ABdullah
As part of the mandate of the Constitution “to protect working women by providing safe and healthful working conditions, taking into account their maternal functions, and such facilities and opportunities that will enhance their welfare,” the State has promulgated several laws.
One of these relates to Maternity leave.
So, what does “Maternity leave” mean? The term refers to the period of time that can be availed of by any female employee, married or unmarried, to undergo and recuperate from childbirth, miscarriage or complete abortion, during which she is permitted to retain her rights and benefits under her employment (i.e., status of employment, salary, 13th month pay)
Under the old law of Maternity leave benefit, the period of leave given to women is determined by the type of childbirth. Thus, a period of sixty (60) days was provided for every normal delivery. On the other hand, seventy-eight (78) days was provided for caesarian delivery. However, last 20 February, 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law Republic Act No. 11210, otherwise known as the 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law, the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of which were signed by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on 1st May. This Act, whose principal sponsor and author in the Senate was Senator Risa Hontiveros, provides that all female employees from both the government and private sectors will now be granted the expanded maternity leave of one hundred five (105) days with full pay. Moreover, the new law has given seven (7) days of leave credits that are transferable to fathers. As for Solo Parents, an additional fifteen (15) days of paid leave will also be granted to all single mothers.
The enjoyment of maternity leave by female employees cannot be deferred. The said benefits must be availed of either before or after the actual period of delivery in acontinuous and uninterrupted manner, and shall not exceed the one hundred five (105) day-period, as the case may be.
The Expanded Maternity Leave Law likewise affords mothers the option to extend their leave for another thirty (30) days without pay, provided that the employer is given due notice in writing at least forty-five (45) days before the end of the maternity leave.
The Expanded Maternity Leave Law also applies to every instance of pregnancy and has removed the old four-pregnancy restriction. It shall be similarly applied to all female employees regardless of civil status.
In case of miscarriage or emergency termination of pregnancy, a sixty (60) day paid maternity leave shall be granted to a female employee.
Maternity benefits under the Expanded Maternity Leave Law shall also be given to female employees in the informal economy, provided that they have paid and remitted to the Social Security System at least three monthly contributions in the twelve (12) month period immediately preceding the semester of their childbirth, miscarriage, or emergency termination of pregnancy.
Given the developments in the Expanded Maternity Leave Law, it is a joy to witness that women in this evolving and modern era are likewise given the support to balance the best of both worlds of career and family!
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