Many studies and surveys conducted in the recent years revealed that one of the major factors hindering exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months was the need for the mothers to return to their work. After all, the original maternity leave of 60 days was prohibitive as it was short. This negated the campaigns for natural feeding for newborns, which is vital as mom’s milk contained antibodies and the best nutrients for a growing baby.
This challenge and difficulty for women in the workforce were recognized by the government and in the year 2019, they crafted the R.A. 11210 or the “105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law.” The Philippine government went to great lengths to craft it and extend the maternity leave from 60 days to 105 days or up to three months.
The extension of the maternity leave will give the mothers more time to recover and will also give them the opportunity to exclusively breastfeed their newborns. Do you want to know more about this law and how to avail your maternity leave benefits? This article is for you.
1. Entitled Recipients of Maternity Leave Benefits
According to accounting services in the Philippines, you are entitled to receive maternity leave benefits if you satisfy the following:
- you are a female worker, single or married, working in either the public or private work sector
- you are a self-employed/voluntary/OFW SSS member
- you were a terminated employee who had a miscarriage or childbirth not more than 15 days after your service was terminated
- you are a solo parent
- you are a female athlete.
- you had a pregnancy or miscarriage emergency termination.
2. Requirements to Avail of the Maternity Leave Benefits
- Whether or not you are an employee or self-employed, you should pay at least three months of SSS contributions for the last 12 months before your emergency termination of miscarriage or pregnancy.
- If you are not a SSS member, you will be covered via the “Social Health Insurance Coverage and Benefits for Women About to Give Birth” or the PhilHealth Circular No. 022-2014.
- You need to ask your employer or the company for the other requirements or other forms you need to avail of the maternity leave benefits.
3. When Can a Woman Begin Her Maternity Leave
You can’t just randomly apply for leave even if you are pregnant. You must follow these stipulations:
- You can avail of the maternity leave as early as 45 days before your expected delivery date.
- The latest time you can avail of it is 6o days after your delivery.
4. Benefits of the 105-day Expanded Maternity Leave Law
Check out the many advantages of this new law:
- All women who qualify may avail of the maternity leave at every pregnancy unlike the old one which had a limit of 4 pregnancies.
- All women who qualify are entitled to a 105-day paid maternity leave. Their average daily salary credit is still 100% regardless of their delivery type, either normal delivery or cesarean delivery.
- All women who qualify have the option to extend their unpaid leave of 30 days after their paid maternity leave.
- If you are a solo parent, you are entitled to an additional 15 days of paid maternity leave which gives you a paid maternity leave of 125 days. This is because when you are a solo parent, you qualify under the Solo parents’ Welfare Act of 2000 or the R.A. 8972.
- If you had an emergency termination of pregnancy or a miscarriage, you are entitled to get a paid maternity leave of 60 days.
- You have the option to allocate your 7 days of maternity leave to your partner, spouse, or alternate caregiver up to the 4th level of consanguinity. If you are married, your husband can also avail of the 7 days of paternity leave under the Paternity Leave Act or R.A. 8187. This means the fathers can get a total of 14 days of paid leave, 7 days from maternity leave plus 7 days from the paternity leave.
5. Employer’s Penalty for Non-Compliance
- If your employer does not comply with this law, he or she can get a fine of 20,000 pesos up to 200,000 pesos or be imprisoned for at least 6 years and 1 day but not more than 12 years.
- Your employer will not be able to renew his or her business permit if he or she does not comply with this law.