The Senate approved the proposed “Expanded Maternity Leave Law of 2015” (Senate Bill No. 2892; see full text), basically providing for additional days for maternity leave. Maternity leave is currently at least sixty (60) days, with pay, for normal delivery, abortion or miscarriage. It’s extended to seventy-eight (78) days in case of caesarian section delivery. The proposed law will still have to go through the usual process until it is signed by the President (or lapsed into law, unless vetoed).
Institutionalize a mechanism to expand the maternity leave period of working women to provide them with ample transition time to regain health and overall wellness as well as to assume maternal roles before resuming full-time work.
Sorry, dads, there seems to be no interest to increase the days for paternity leave. It still stands at 7 days. [Read also Maternity Leave and Paternity Leave in the Philippines]
The proposed law covers both female employees in government service and female employees in the private sector. A female member who has paid at least three (3) monthly contributions in the twelve-month period immediately preceding the semester of her childbirth or miscarriage shall be paid her daily maternity benefit which shall be computed based on the average monthly salary credit for one hundred (100) days, regardless if the delivery was normal or caesarian.
Any pregnant female employee who was appointed in government service, regardless of employment status, in any National Government Agency (NGA), Local Government Unit (LGU), or Government Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCC), shall be granted a maternity leave of one hundred (100) days, with full pay based on her average weekly or regular wages, regardless if the delivery was normal or caesarian.
Employees availing of the maternity leave period and benefits must receive not less than two-thirds (2/3) of their regular monthly wages. Employers from the private sector shall be responsible to pay the salary differential between the actual cash benefits received from the SSS by the covered employees and their average weekly or regular wages, for the entire duration of the ordinary maternity leave, except:
(a) those operating distressed establishments;
(b) those retail/service establishments employing not more than ten (10) workers;
(c) those who pay their workers on a purely commission, boundary, or task basis, and those who are paid a fixed amount for performing a specific work;
(d) those considered as micro business enterprises and engaged in the production, processing, or manufacturing or products or commodities including agro-processing, trading, and services whose total assets are not more than three million pesos (P 3,000,000.00); and
(e) those who are already providing similar or more than the benefits herein provided.
Additional 30 days
A female employee, both in the private and public sectors, may choose to avail of an additional maternity leave of thirty (30) days — but WITHOUT pay — provided the employer be given written notice at least forty five (45) days before the end of her ordinary maternity leave.
There’s an interesting provision in the proposed law: “Any other working arrangement which the female employee shall agree to, during the additional maternity leave period, shall be allowed; Provided, That this shall be consented to in writing by the employee and shall primarily consider her maternal functions and post-natal care.” Does this mean that if the female employee agrees to work for a couple of hours during the maternity leave, she will get a pro-rata salary on top of the maternity leave pay?
Security of Tenure
Those who shall avail of the ordinary maternity leave and the additional 30-day maternity leave, whether in the government service or private sector, shall be assured of security of tenure. As such, the exercise of this option by them shall not be used as basis for demotion in employment or termination. The transfer to a parallel position or reassignment from one organizational unit to another in the same agency shall be allowed, but it must not involve a reduction in rank, status or salary.