Maternity and paternity leaves 101
It's very important for moms and dads to know what their rights and privileges are when it comes to their maternity and paternity leaves.
For working moms and dads who are expecting a baby, it's very important to be aware of the benefits and rights that the Philippine Labor Law provides employees. Knowing what you and your spouse are entitled to will be a great help when the baby comes out.
What do moms need to know?
When it comes to the topic of maternity and paternity leaves and benefits, it's good for parents to know what they're entitled to.
The important thing to note is that to avail of these benefits, moms should have at least paid for 3 monthly contributions to the SSS within a 12-month period immediately preceding the semester of her childbirth. Moms should also inform their employer or the SSS that they are pregnant in order to take advantage of these benefits.
Pregnant moms who are working the night shift are also entitled to be able to work the day shift if possible.
For pregnant moms who are currently working, they can take advantage of a maternity leave at least 2 weeks before their due date. After a normal delivery, moms are also entitled to have at least 4 weeks leave to rest, recuperate, and take care of their newborn child.
Additionally, a daily maternity benefit would be provided for 60 days, which would be equivalent to her current basic salary. For caesarian deliveries, it will be provided for 78 days.
Mothers should also know that unlike paternity leave, valid marriage isn't required to avail of these benefits.
How about dads?
For dads who are planning to avail of their paternity leave, there are also some requirements that they have to fulfill before they are able to take advantage of their benefits as employees.
Here are those requirements:
- The employee is lawfully married and is cohabiting with his legitimate wife;
- He is employed at the time of his wife’s delivery;
- His wife is pregnant, or has delivered a child, or has suffered a miscarriage or abortion;
- The employer is notified within reasonable time of the pregnancy and of date of expected delivery (This notice is not required in case of abortion or miscarriage)
- It must be within the first four deliveries.
Dads can avail of their paternity benefit before, during, or after their wife's delivery, provided that it doesn't exceed 7 working days. An example would be that a father can file a leave 2 days before his wife's delivery, 1 day during her due date, and 4 days after his wife gives birth, for a total of 7 days.
What about solo parents?
Under RA 8972, solo parents are entitled to an additional leave of 7 working days with full pay each year. This is in addition to the other leave privileges that they have under the law.
Here are the requirements for solo parents:
- Giving birth as a result of rape or, as used by the law, other crimes against chastity;
- Death of spouse;
- Spouse is detained or is serving sentence for a criminal conviction for at least one (1) year;
- Physical and/or mental incapacity of spouse as certified by a public medical practitioner;
- Legal separation or de facto separation from spouse for at least one (1) year: Provided that he/she is entrusted with the custody of the children;
- Declaration of nullity or annulment of marriage as decreed by a court or by a church: Provided, that he/she is entrusted with the custody of the children;
- Abandonment of spouse for at least one (1) year;
- Unmarried father/mother who has preferred to keep and rear his/her child/children, instead of having others care for them or give them up to a welfare institution;
- Any other person who solely provides parental care and support to a child or children: Provided, that he/she is duly licensed as a foster parent by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) or duly appointed legal guardian by the court; and
- Any family member who assumes the responsibility of head of family as a result of the death, abandonment, disappearance, or prolonged absence of the parents or solo parent: Provided, that such abandonment, disappearance, or prolonged absence lasts for at least one (1) year.
"In order to be entitled to the leave, a solo parent employee should have rendered at least 1 year of service, whether continuous or broken. In addition, the employee should notify his or her employer that he or she will avail of the leave within a reasonable period of time. Finally, the solo parent employee must present to the employer his or her Solo Parent Identification Card. Such card may be obtained from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) located in the city where the employee resides."
Hopefully this information would help parents as well as expecting parents to know what their benefits are under our labor laws.