Understanding the new maternity leave law

Before March 11, 2019, female employees in the Philippines were entitled to a
60-day maternity leave for natural births, while mothers who gave birth via C-
section were allowed 78 days off.

Philippine lawmakers realized that this was not enough time for mothers to
recover from giving birth. The limited period also hindered them from spending
quality time with their infant. This resulted in the creation of the Expanded
Maternity Leave Law.

What is the Expanded Maternity Leave Law?

The Expanded Maternity Leave Law (Republic Act No. 11210) is a new measure
that allows working mothers to take a 105-day maternity leave with pay,
regardless of the method of delivery. Its provisions apply to female employees in
the public, private, and informal sectors. Female national athletes and voluntary
contributors to the Social Security System (SSS) are also covered by the
legislation.

Aside from the base number of maternity leave days, solo working mothers are granted an additional 15 days of paid leave. These employees must qualify as a
solo parent as defined by the Solo Parents’ Welfare Act of 2000 (Republic Act
No. 8972)
.

The Expanded Maternity Leave Law also allows mothers to extend their
maternity leave for an additional 30 days, albeit without pay. Meanwhile, in the
event of a miscarriage or an emergency termination of pregnancy, mothers can
claim a 60-day paid maternity leave.

Implementation of the Expanded Maternity Leave Law

The new legislation, which was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on February
22, 2019, took effect beginning March 11.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issued the implementing
rules and regulations for the legislation on May 1. The IRR was developed in
coordination with the Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC), the
Civil Service Commission (CSC), and the Social Security System (SSS).

These agencies, in cooperation with trade union labor organizations and
employers’ representatives, will review the new law and its benefits to female
employees in the public and private sector.

How the Expanded Maternity Law affects male employees

Under the 1996 Paternity Leave Act, male employees can go on seven days of
paid paternity leave. With the introduction of the Expanded Maternity Leave Law,
this period can extend up to 14 days. The new law allows female employees to
transfer up to seven of her 105 paid leaves to the father, regardless of their
marital status.

If the father is absent, the seven days may be transferred to a fourth-degree
relative like the child of their first cousin.

Violations and penalties for non-compliance with the Expanded Maternity
Leave Law

Those who violate the Expanded Maternity Leave Law will be fined around Php
20,000 to Php 200,000, depending on the gravity of the infringement. Offending
parties can face six to 12 years in prison.

Business entities including partnerships, corporations, and private enterprises
may also lose their right to renew their business permits.

To learn more about your rights as a working parent, as well as the mandatory
employee benefits you can claim, contact Duran & Duran-Schulze. Call us today at (+632) 478 5826 or send an email via info@duranschulze.com.