Legal Heads Up

The Expanded Maternity Leave Law

On 20 February 2019, Republic Act No. 11210 otherwise known as the “105-day Expanded Maternity Leave Law” was signed into law by the President of the Philippines.

The salient features of the law are as follows:

  1. It grants to all covered female workers in the government and the private sector, including the informal economy, 105 days of fully paid leave. Previously, female workers could take maternity leaves for 60 days for normal delivery and 78 days for caesarian operations.
  2. The maternity leave is extendible by another 30 days but without pay.
  3. If the female worker is a solo parent, as defined in the Solo Parent Act (R.A. No. 8972) she can have an additional 15 days of fully paid leave.
  4. Female workers who suffered a miscarriage or had to undergo an emergency termination of the pregnancy are allowed to have a 60-day maternity leave.
  5. The mother can transfer 7 days of her leave benefits to the father, extending the latter’s paid paternity leave to 14 days.
  6. In the death, absence or incapacity of the father, the mother can choose to allocate up to 7 days of her maternity leave benefits to a relative within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or the current partner of the mother, so long as they share the same household.

The leave benefits provided under the law are without prejudice to a superior benefit provided under a collective bargaining agreement.

The law expressly prohibits the act of discriminating against the hiring of women and protects their security of tenure by ensuring that there is no diminution of their benefits even by reason of their having gone on maternity leave.

Employers who fail or refuse to comply with the provision of the law may be subject to a fine of not less than P20,000.00 but not more than P200,000.00, and imprisonment of not less than 6 months and 1 day but not more than 12 years.

If the employer is an association, partnership, corporation or any other organization, its managing head, directors or partners shall be held liable.

The new law will take effect after fifteen (15) days from its publication in the Official Gazette (21 February 2019) or in a newspaper of general circulation. The implementing rules are expected to be issued within 60 days.

To read the entire text of R.A. No. 11210, please click here.

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