Duterte signs expanded maternity leave law

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 21 2019 11:59 AM | Updated as of Feb 21 2019 06:50 PM

Duterte signs expanded maternity leave law 1

MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a bill that will grant additional leave benefits for working mothers, the Palace confirmed Thursday.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said Duterte signed Republic Act 11210 on Wednesday, Feb. 20, beating the 30-day deadline for the proposed measure to lapse into law.

Under the measure, all working mothers in the government and private sector are guaranteed with 105 days of paid maternity leave credits, with 7 days transferable to fathers. An additional 15 days of paid leave will be granted to single mothers.

Under the previous law, employed women are entitled to 60 days of paid leave for normal delivery and 78 days for caesarean delivery.

The law gives mothers the option to extend their leave for another 30 days without pay, provided that the employer is given due notice in writing at least 45 days ahead before the end of the maternity leave.

The law also applies to every instance of pregnancy, removing the 4-pregnancy cap. It shall be applied to all female workers regardless of civil status.

For cases of miscarriage or emergency termination of pregnancy, a 60-day paid maternity leave shall be granted to a female worker.

Maternity benefits shall also be given to female workers in the informal economy, provided that they have remitted to the Social Security System at least three monthly contributions in the 12-month period immediately preceding the semester of her childbirth, miscarriage, or emergency termination of pregnancy.

In a statement, Sen. Risa Hontiveros, author of the bill, said the law is a "massive victory for women and their families."

"The law squarely addresses our lack of maternity leave days, and puts us at par with international standards. It also supports the best available evidence and practice which are consistent with improving maternity leave policy," she said.

"Now, mothers will have more time to rest from pregnancy. Children will be better fed. Fathers and caregivers can bond and create more lasting memories with their loved ones, as families everywhere receive the greatest gift of all time."

The EML bill passed Congress in October 2018 and was transmitted to the Palace on Jan. 21, 2019.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the government is confident the law’s passage will not result in discrimination against females in the hiring process. The law also prohibits discrimination against the employment of women in order to avoid granting the expanded maternity benefits.

"Filipinos are family-oriented. These industrialist businessmen, they will understand," Panelo said.

Below is the full copy of the law: