House panel OKs 100-day paid maternity leave
MANILA, Philippines – A bill seeking to increase the paid maternity leave to 100 days was approved by the House committee on women and gender equality.
House Bill 4113 or the “100-Day Maternity Leave Law” also includes an option for female employees in the government or private sector to seek an additional 30-day leave without pay.
The bill seeks to grant the said benefits regardless of civil status, miscarriage, abortion, and pending administrative cases. Female workers in the informal sector and non-members of the Social Security System (SSS) would also be covered.
SSS members who have apaid at least 3 monthly contributions during the 12-month period before the semester of their childbirth or miscarriage would also be given their daily maternity benefit.
Currently, soon-to-be mothers in the workforce are only allowed 60 to 78 days for their maternity leave. (READ: Maternity leave: Good for women, bad for business?)
The House panel chaired by Diwa Representative Emmeline Aglipay Villar approved HB 4113 before the 17th Congress went on a two-week break this week. This means the measure only needs to be sponsored during a plenary session before the House of Representatives can approve it on 3rd and final reading.
A similar bill was approved by the Senate on 3rd and final reading during the 16th Congress, but it was not passed into law.
If passed during the 17th Congress, HB 4113 would assure the security of tenure for female employees, with maternity leave being prohibited from being used as a basis for job demotion or termination.
Female workers may also be transferred to a parallel position or be reassigned to another unit under the same company as long as their rank, status, or salary will not be reduced.
Under the bill, employers are instructed to give not less than 2/3 of the regular monthly wages of female employees who would be availing themselves of the maternity leave.
Companies would also be required to take care of the salary differential between the actual cash benefits received by the female workers from SSS and their average weekly or regular wages during the duration of the maternity leave.
Exceptions under this provision include the following:
- Workers operating “distressed establishments”
- Retail or service establishments employing not more than 10 workers
- Companies that pay their workers on a purely commission, boundary, or task basis
- Employees paid a fixed amount for performing a specific work
- Micro business enterprises and are engaged in the production, processing, or manufacturing or products or commodities including agro-processing, trading, and services whose total assets are not more than P3 million
- Companies that are already providing similar benefits to their employees
HB 4113 also mandates the SSS and the Civil Service Commission to review the maternity leave benefits of employees in both the private and public sectors. Maternity leave benefits should also be included in the SSS’ and CSC’s valuation reports. – Rappler.com
Pregnant woman image from Shutterstock