It’s a win for Flipina women nationwide as the post-implementation of the 105-day Expanded Maternity Leave Law shows that over 100k women have benefited close to 70k in Maternity benefits from 32k this 2020. This includes expectant mothers who have undergone both natural and cesarean childbirth methods. For miscarriages or emergency termination of pregnancy, women are entitled to 60 days of paid maternity leave.
Previously, women were only allowed 60 calendar days of paid leaves for normal delivery and 78 days for Cesarean. Now, the longer 105-day Expanded Maternity Leave aims to give mothers more time to recuperate and care for their child, while also reducing nationwide infant mortality rate and the number of postpartum depression cases.
Mothers can also opt to give 7 out of their 105 days to the fathers while single parents can extend their leaves (although considered unpaid). SSS has given a total of P2.67 billion worth of maternity benefits for the 1st 4 months of 2019.
In order to claim your Maternity Benefit, female members should have paid at least three monthly contributions within the 12 months immediately before the semester of her childbirth or miscarriage. They should have also given her employer proof of her pregnancy using the SSS Maternity Notification and the medical certificate and ultrasound scan. The Maternity Leave also covers women who undergo childbirth, miscarriage or emergency termination of pregnancy within 15 calendar days after termination of employment. It also covers female workers in both the private and public sectors with pending administrative cases.
You can avail your leave before or after childbirth so long as it is continuous, meaning once you decide to go on Maternity Leave, you’re on leave until the end. If you’re a new mom however and you wish to extend your leave by 30 days without pay, you need to send a written notice to your employer 45 days before the 105-day leave ends. Except if it’s a medical emergency.
It’s a step towards better benefits for future mothers. In comparison, the best maternity benefits in the world come from Norway as their system is both flexible and generous. Mothers can take 49 weeks (343 days) at full pay or 59 weeks (413 days) at 80% pay. Meanwhile, fathers can take between zero to 10 weeks (70 days) depending on their wife’s income. Sweden is unique in its paternity benefits as it gives fathers 90 days paid paternity leaves which promotes bonding between father and child in the crucial first moments.
Although the Philippines still has a long way to go before we reach that point, this step is crucial to becoming one of the ideal countries to support new parents.