Jet Nebris, PMAP Research Assistant
To shed light to employers and HR managers, People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP) held an Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) briefing on Expanded Maternity Law (EML) on Thursday, May 17, 2019.
About 123 member-participants from different industries have gathered at the PMAP Training Center to join the discussion on EML.
Department of Labor and Employment’s Chief of the Policy and Program Development Division Nicanor V. Bon served as the focal person during the IRR briefing.
As signed into law on 20 February 2019, Republic Act No. 11210 otherwise known as the “105-day Expanded Maternity Leave Law” takes effect on 11 March 2019, or after 15 days from its publication in Manila Bulletin on 23 February 2019.
What to expect: EML salient points
As stipulated in the law, female workers, working in government and private offices, are ensured of 105 days or over 3 months paid maternity leave. Before, female workers are only entitled of 60 days maternity leave for normal delivery and 78 days for caesarian operations.
Employers are required to grant it to its working mothers regardless of the mode of delivery, civil status, legitimacy of the child, and employment status. The law also provides that maternity leave can be extended by another 30 days but without pay.
However, for solo parents, as mandated in the Solo Parent Act (R.A. No. 8972), female workers can avail an additional 15 days of fully paid leave. In case an employee suffered a miscarriage or had to undergo an emergency termination of the pregnancy, the female worker is allowed to have a 60-day maternity leave.
Inclusiveness and Empowerment
In the provision of the law, 7 out 105 leave benefits of the female workers can be transferred to the father, whether or not he is married to the female worker. This benefit is reinstated in the RA 8187 (Paternity Leave Act).
The mother, in the death, absence or incapacity of the father, can opt 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.
Under the law, employment of the women shall not be discriminated and compromised by the employer. Further, their security of tenure must be ensured without diminution of the benefits enjoyed by the working mothers even by reason of their having gone on maternity leave.
Not only limited to the offices and factories, this law also covers women in many homes doing reproductive labor. This also includes female workers in both public and private sector, informal economy, female members who are voluntary contributors to the SSS, and even the female national athletes that must be guaranteed of the benefits. By including them, the law recognizes the productive and reproductive work of women.
This EML is further anchored in the Section 12, Article II and Section 14 Article XIII of the 1987 Constitution which underscores the protection and promotion of the rights and welfare of working women, and protection of the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception.
Thus, a mechanism in expanding the maternity leave period of women workers have been institutionalized. With the enactment of this law, it gives them ample transition time to regain health and assume maternal roles and responsibilities.
PMAP at the forefront of advocacies
Being the voice of its corporate members, PMAP has been active in the discussion in terms of the labor issues, updates, and policies. PMAP serves as the thinking hub, through the Center for Research and Publications, to its members by giving sound judgements and well-informed decisions.