Senate approves bill granting 100-day maternity leave

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(File photo)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Senate on Monday (January 18) approved on third reading a bill granting female employees in both the private and public sectors 100 days of maternity leave.

Currently, Philippine law provides 60 days of maternity leave for government employees, while employees from the private sector are granted 60 to 78 days, depending on the mode of delivery.

Sen. Pia Cayetano, sponsor of Senate Bill No. 2982 or the Expanded Maternity Leave Law of 2015, said the numbers were less than the 98-day minimum requirement of the International Labor Organization (ILO).

She said compared to other countries in Asia, the Philippines was lagging behind in maternity leave duration.

Vietnam provides between 120 to 180 days, Singapore gives 112 days of maternity leave, and Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Thailand all provide a maternity leave period of 84 days.

Cayetano said the law was aimed to provide mothers with ample transition time to regain health and overall wellness as well as to assume their maternal roles before resuming full-time work.

It would also give mothers sufficient financial support while on maternity leave, she added.

They can also avail of an additional maternity leave of 30 days, without pay, provided that the employee gives the head of the agency due notice, in writing, 45 days before the end of her ordinary maternity leave.

According to the proposed bill, employees from the private sector availing of the maternity leave period and benefits must receive not less than two-thirds of their regular monthly wages.

Exempted from giving cash benefits are employers who are operating distressed establishments and retail/service establishments employing not more than ten workers.

Also exempted are employers who pay their workers on commission, boundary or task basis and those engaged in the production, processing, or manufacturing of products and commodities including agro-processing, trading, and services whose total assets are not more than three million pesos.