Senate approves bill for 100-day maternity leave

MANILA, Philippines – If a newly approved Senate bill gets signed into law, maternity leave could last up to 100 days.

Currently, only a 60-day maternity leave is available under Philippine law – "less than the 98-day minimum requirement of the International Labor Organization," according to Senator Pia Cayetano.

Senate Bill No 2982 or the Expanded Maternity Leave Law of 2015 was approved on third and final reading on Monday, January 18, with a vote of 19-0.

The bill applies to female employees working in the government and the private sector.

Working women will 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 cesarean."

An additional 30-day leave without pay may be availed of as well.

A private sector employee who has paid at least 3 months of her social security contributions in the 12-month period immediately preceding the semester of her childbirth or miscarriage shall be paid her daily maternity benefit computed based on her average monthly salary credit for 100 days.

The bill also stresses that an employee's security of tenure will not be affected by her maternity leave. 

Cayetano, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations, and Gender Equality, and the bill's sponsor, said the measure "aims 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," Cayetano added. 

"Through policies like this, we aim to institutionalize standards that promote the rights of working women and protect them from discrimination based on maternity."

Pregnant woman image from Shutterstock