Mandatory Leaves in the Philippines

Below are leaves mandated by law in the Philippines:

1. Service Incentive Leave (SIL)

An employee who has rendered at least one (1) year of service shall be entitled to a yearly service incentive leave of five (5) days with pay. The following employees are excluded from entitlement to SIL under the Labor Code, but may be entitled to the same or similar benefits if so provided under other laws, or collective bargaining agreement or employment contract:

a. Those of the government and any of its political subdivisions, including government-owned and controlled corporations; b. Domestic helpers and persons in the personal service of another; c. Managerial employees as defined in Book Three of the Labor Code; d. Field personnel and other employees whose performance is unsupervised by the employer including those who are engaged on task or contract basis, purely commission basis, or those who are paid a fixed amount for performing work irrespective of the time consumed in the performance thereof; e. Those who are already enjoying the benefit herein provided; f. Those enjoying vacation leave with pay of at least five days; and g. Those employed in establishments regularly employing less than ten employees.

The SIL may be used for sick and vacation leave purposes. And, at the end of the year, the unused SIL may be commutable to cash.

2. Maternity Leave

Any pregnant female worker shall be granted a maternity leave of one hundred five (105) days with full pay, regardless of whether she gave birth via caesarian section or natural delivery, while maternity leave of sixty (60) days with full pay shall be granted for miscarriage or emergency termination of pregnancy.

An additional thirty (30) day maternity leave without pay may be availed of at the option of the female worker, provided that the employer is given due notice in writing at least forty-five (45) days before the end of her maternity leave. No prior notice is required if there is a medical emergency but subsequent notice shall be given to the agency head.

3. Paternity Leave

Paternity Leave refers to the paid leave of seven (7) days granted to a married male employee in the private and public sectors for the purpose of allowing the husband to help and assist his wife during childbirth, recovery and nurture of the infant.

He may be able to avail of this leave only up to the first four deliveries or miscarriage of his legitimate spouse with whom he is cohabiting. It is incumbent upon the male employee to notify his employer of the pregnancy of his legitimate spouse and the expected date of such delivery.

Under Republic Act No. 11210 or the 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law, any female worker entitled to maternity leave benefits, at her option, may allocate up to seven (7) days of said benefits to the child's father, whether or not he is married to the female worker.

4. Leave for victims of Violence Against Women and Their Children (VAWC) Under Republic Act No. 9262

Women employees who are victims as defined in Republic Act No. 9262 shall be entitled to a paid leave of up to ten (10) days. This shall be extended when the need arises, as specified in the protection order issued by the barangay or the court. The leave benefit shall cover the days that the woman employee has to attend to medical and legal concerns.

To be entitled to the leave benefit, the only requirement is for the victim-employee to present to her employer a certification from the Barangay Chairman or Barangay Kagawad or prosecutor or the Clerk of Court, as the case may be, that an action relative to the matter is pending.

In case it is not availed of, it cannot be converted into cash and shall not be cumulative.

5. Parental Leave for Solo Parents

Parental leave for solo parents is provided for under Republic Act No. 8972 and granted to any solo parent or individual who is left alone with the responsibility of parenthood due to:

a. Giving birth as a result of rape or, as used by the law, other crimes against chastity; b. Death of spouse; c. Spouse is detained or is serving sentence for a criminal conviction for at least one (1) year; d. Physical and/or mental incapacity of spouse as certified by a public medical practitioner; e. Legal separation or de facto separation from spouse for at least one (1) year: Provided that he/she is entrusted with the custody of the children; f. Declaration of nullity or annulment of marriage as decreed by a court or by a church: Provided, that he/she is entrusted with the custody of the children; g. Abandonment of spouse for at least one (1) year; h. Unmarried father/mother who has preferred to keep and rear his/her child/children, instead of having others care for them or give them up to a welfare institution; i. Any other person who solely provides parental care and support to a child or children: Provided, that he/she is duly licensed as a foster parent by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) or duly appointed legal guardian by the court; and j. Any family member who assumes the responsibility of head of family as a result of the death, abandonment, disappearance, or prolonged absence of the parents or solo parent: Provided, that such abandonment, disappearance, or prolonged absence lasts for at least one year.

The parental leave, in addition to leave privileges under existing laws, shall be for seven work days every year, with full pay. In order to be entitled to the leave, a solo parent employee should have complied with the following:

a. He/she has rendered at least one year of service, whether continuous or broken; b. He/she has notified his/her employer that he/she will avail himself/herself of it, within a reasonable period of time; and c. He/she has presented to his/her employer a Solo Parent Identification Card, which may be obtained from the DSWD office of the city or municipality where he/she resides.

If the parental leave is unused, it cannot be convertible to cash, unless specifically previously agreed with the employer. A change in the status or circumstance of the parent claiming the benefit under the law, such that he/she is no longer left alone with the responsibility of parenthood, shall terminate his/her eligibility for this benefit.

6. Special Leave Benefits for Women under Republic Act No. 9710 or “The Magna Carta of Women Act”

Any female employee, regardless of age and civil status shall be entitled to a special leave of two (2) months with full pay based on her gross monthly compensation subject to existing laws, rules and regulations due to surgery caused by gynecological disorders under such terms and conditions:

a. She has rendered at least six months continuous aggregate employment service for the last twelve months prior to surgery; b. In the event that an extended leave is necessary, the female employee may use her earned leave credits; and c. This special leave shall be non-cumulative and nonconvertible to cash.

This article does not constitute and is not intended to be legal advice. If you have any question or need any assistance, please feel free to send us an email at roselle.jean@nonatolaw.com.

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