TUCP warns employers vs hiring less women over maternity leave law

MANILA, Philippines – Labor group Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) has slammed the results of an employers' group survey which showed that the recently signed Expanded Maternity Leave Law (EML) would likely affect companies' decision to hire women.

The preliminary results of the survey conducted among Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) members showed that 68% to 70% are concerned with the "higher cost implications" of Republic Act No. 11210.

Under RA 11210,  working mothers get 105 days or 3 months of paid leave, which can be extended to another 30 days without pay.

TUCP President Raymond Mendoza said in a statement on Wednesday, March 20, that the survey results suggested that employers would violate the law.

"This is an expression of intent by these employers that they will violate the law. This is tantamount to an admission that employers will now be discriminating against women in their hiring practices," Mendoza said.

"We remind employers that under Article 135 of the Labor Code, it shall be unlawful for any employer to discriminate against any woman employee with respect to terms and conditions of employment solely on the condition of her sex," he added.

The survey covered 70 businesses, 51% of which came from large-scale companies. It was conducted from March 11 to 15, and the final survey will be done by March 30.

TUCP called on the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to "closely monitor" ECOP's member-firms.

"The DOLE has now been put on notice that there is a strong inclination by many employers to hire males disproportionate to females, solely women are capable of procreation, and that EML is a cost that these employers are unwilling to bear," Mendoza said.

According to the law, employers that will violate the EML will be fined not less than P20,000 nor more than P200,000; imprisonment of not less than 6 months and one day nor more than 12 years; or both.

Failure to implement the new law is a ground for the non-renewal of business permits. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.