MANILA — A lawmaker at the House of Representatives has filed a bill that would extend the maternity leave benefits of female employees from the present 60 days to 90 days with pay in order to cope up with internationally accepted standards.
Las Piñas Rep. Mark Villar said House Bill No. 5701, otherwise known as the Expanded Maternity Leave Law of 2015, not only seeks to increase the maternity leave of female employees in the private sector but also those in the government service.
“International standards for maternity leave is a minimum of 14 weeks. Our laws which grant only 60 days, and in some cases 78 days of maternity leave, clearly fall short compared to international standard,” the chair of the House Committee of Trade and Industry said.
“Aside from increasing maternity leave to 90 days with pay, the proposed bill likewise allows female employees to avail of an additional 30-day maternity leave without pay,” Villar said.
Earlier, the Las Piñas lawmaker had also filed a bill to correct present legislation which deprives maternity leave benefits to unmarried government employees.Commonwealth Act. 647 limits the grant of maternity leave to married women.
Until now, this is still being applied by the government in implementing Section 12, Rule XVI of the Omnibus Rules implementing Book V of Executive Order No. 292 (Administrative Code of 1987) and Other Pertinent Civil Service Laws.
“Single mothers working in the government should not be treated as second class citizens. We need to close the gap and give our government employees a right they have long-deserved,” Villar said.
RA 8282 (Social Security System Act) provides for maternity leave of sixty (60) days for normal delivery, or seventy-eight (78) days in case of caesarean delivery to all pregnant employees in the private sector.
“In law and in practice, no distinctions are made between unmarried and married pregnant employees in the private sector in this regard. In the spirit of justice and fair play, the same benefits should be given to unmarried government employees as well,” Villar said.