January 4, 2017
Legarda Seeks Longer Maternity Leave
Senator Loren Legarda has supported calls to increase the maternity leave of employees in the government and private sector to 100 days as she filed the proposed Expanded Maternity Leave Law (Senate Bill No. 1262).
Legarda said that the current maternity leave of 60 days for normal delivery and 78 days in case of caesarian delivery does not even comply with the international labor standards on maternal protection that recommends a minimum of 14 weeks or 98 days of maternity leave.
"The proposed measure is imperative to ensuring the health and overall well-being of women and their children by providing them ample time to recuperate after delivery, to increase the duration of breastfeeding and to allow women to spend adequate time to assume their roles as mothers and equal partners of men in nation-building," Legarda stressed.
The Senator cited Article XIII Social Justice and Human Rights, Section 14 of the Constitution, which states that: "The State shall protect working women by providing safe and healthful working conditions, taking into account their maternal functions, and such facilities and opportunities that will enhance their welfare and enable them to realize their full potential in the service of the nation."
SBN 1262 seeks to amend existing laws to increase the maternity leave period to 100 days with pay for female employees both in government and in the private sector.
In addition, the employee can, at her option, avail of the additional 30 days maternity leave without pay, subject to the condition that she notifies her employer in writing of her intention to go on further leave at least 45 days before the end of her regular maternity leave.
"It is important to ensure a smooth transition for a mother who is an employee in the workplace to adopt a maternal role. Thus, working mothers shall be entitled to 100 days paid leave regardless if the delivery was normal or caesarian to give them more time to nurse and care for their newborn babies," Legarda concluded.
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