SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
Working moms with newborn babies don’t have to go back to work right away once the extended maternity period bill is approved into law.
The House of Representatives, voting 191 - 0 without abstention, approved on third and final reading on Tuesday House Bill 4113, principally authored by Rep. Emmeline Aglipay Villar, which seeks to increase the maternity leave period to 100 days.
The 100-day maternity leave with pay and an option to extend for an additional 30 days without pay shall apply to all female workers in the government and private sector, including those in the informal sector, regardless of civil status or the legitimacy of their children.
The bill provides that any pregnant female worker in the government service, regardless of employment status, in any national government agency (NGA), local government unit (LGU), government-owned and –controlled corporation (GOCC) or state university and college (SUC), shall be granted a maternity leave of 100 days, with full pay based on her average weekly or regular wages, regardless if the delivery was normal or caesarian.
Maternity leave of 60 days, with full pay based on her average weekly or regular wages, shall be granted for miscarriage.
Meanwhile, any pregnant female worker in the private sector shall be granted a maternity leave of 100 days, regardless of whether she gave birth by caesarian section or natural delivery.
If the female pregnant worker suffers a miscarriage, her maternity leave benefit shall be computed based on the average monthly salary credit for 60 days.
The measure further states that maternity leave with pay shall be granted even if the childbirth or miscarriage occurs not more than 15 calendar days after the termination of an employee’s service as her right thereto.
The said period is not applicable when the employment of the pregnant female worker has been terminated without just cause, in which case the employer will pay her the full amount equivalent to her salary for 100 days based on her average weekly or regular wages, in addition to the other applicable daily cash maternity benefits that she should have received had her employment not been illegally terminated.
Maternity leave benefits shall also cover all married and unmarried women, including female workers in the informal economy.
Likewise, a female worker in the government service and private sector shall enjoy the maternity leave benefits granted under the Act even if she has a pending administrative case.
Maternity leave shall be granted to female workers only for the four deliveries and for cases of miscarriage, 60 days maternity leave with pay shall be granted.
The bill provides that the enjoyment of maternity leave cannot be deferred but should be availed either before or after the actual period of delivery in a continuous and uninterrupted manner, not exceeding 100 calendar days as the case may be.
As for female workers who are neither voluntary nor regular members of the Social Security System (SSS), they shall be governed by PhilHealth Circular No. 022-2014 or the “Social Health Insurance Coverage and Benefits for Women About to Give Birth”.
Those who shall avail of the ordinary maternity leave and the additional 30-day maternity leave, whether in government service or in the private sector, shall be assured of security of tenure.
The bill mandates the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and the SSS to immediately conduct a review of the maternity leave benefits of female workers in the government and private sector, respectively. Thereafter, they shall include maternity leave benefits in their valuation report conducted every four years for the SSS and every three years for the CSC, or more frequently as may be necessary, with the endview of meeting the needs of pregnant women and improving their welfare by increasing maternal benefits.
The bill is also authored by Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr., Deputy Speakers Pia Cayetano, Mercedes Alvarez, Linabelle Ruth Villarica, Fredenil Castro, Rose Marie Arenas, and Frederick Abueg, Reps. Antonio Tinio, France Castro, Emmi De Jesus, Arlene Brosas, Alfred Vargas, Micaela Violago, Gus Tambunting, Marlyn Primicias-Agabas, Maximo Rodriguez Jr., Winston Castelo, Harlin Neil Abayon III, Nancy Catamco, Julieta Cortuna, Yedda Marie Romualdez, Pantaleon Alvarez and Christopher De Venecia, among others. | Vicki Palomar