After a year, the proposed Expanded Maternity Leave (EML) has finally approved. Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea confirmed the signing of maternity leave bill by President Duterte happened just recently. The 105-day Expanded Maternity Leave Law or Republic Act No. 11210 aims to promote and protect the welfare and rights of working women.
What does Expanded Maternity Leave (EML) cover?
This new law offers 105 days of paid maternity leave to working mothers and an added 15 days to solo mothers. They will also have the option to extend for an added 30 days of unpaid leave. A provision is included as well, which enables the allocation of 7 maternity leave days to fathers. It raises the paternity leave to 14 days from the present 7 days.
It states that maternity benefits will cover all married and unmarried women including those who work in the informal economy. The Extended Maternity Leave also applies to all instances of miscarriage, pregnancy, or emergency pregnancy termination heedless of frequency.
No to Discrimination
Now the maternity leaves are extensive, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo hand out a warning to companies against companies. In one of his media briefing, he said that companies which would decline to hire women after the enactment of the new law will be held responsible.
They will be spanked a substantial fine of not more than Php20,000 or more than Php200,000 and imprisonment of not more than 6 years and 1 day or more than 12 years or both.
Each company is required to follow the law regardless of their rules and regulations. Panelo also added that granting of long leaves should be considered as a social service.
Labor group and politicians welcomed the EML law and even shared their own positive feedbacks and opinions about it. Vice President Leni Robredo said the measure is a massive help for working mothers who lack financial investment to employ babysitters.
Employers actually benefit from maternity leave
Companies who provide paid maternity leave have reported positive benefits on their business. These include a reduced expensive employee turnover and loss of human capital and firm-specific skills.
In addition, maternity leave helps increase the morale of working women. They tend to return to their respective jobs with fewer disruptions and improved morale. When given enough time to recover, arrange childcare, and breastfeed, they are more focused on their work and less likely to take a leave of absence for a family emergency, like caring for a sick child.
Know your rights, moms!
Extended Maternity Leave is guaranteed and paid. It applies to all local and state government employees, private employees, and some federal employees. Employers are required to continue the health insurance coverage of their female employees during their EML leave.
When possible, employees who are planning to use the benefit should tell their employers or company managers at least 30 days before the leave would start.
Such good news for mothers and a great way to start the year! Aside from helping mothers to save their fund from hiring a babysitter, they also have more time to establish breastfeeding, care for their newborn baby, and focus on their postpartum recovery and care.