On February 20, 2019, Republic Act No. 11210 or the 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law was enacted. RA 11210 improves current laws on maternity leaves and provides additional benefits for new mothers. Here’s expectant mothers need to know:
- Increased number of leaves
Mothers are granted 105 days of paid maternity leave, regardless of how she gave birth. Before, mothers who had normal deliveries of their children were given only 60 days, while those who undergo caesarean operations are allowed 78 days of paid leave. Now, RA 11210 does not distinguish between the kinds of delivery.
Mothers also now have the option to extend for an additional 30 days, this time without pay. Also, if the mother qualifies as a solo parent under the Solo Parents’ Welfare Act, she is entitled to an additional 15-day maternity leave with full pay.
- All Female Workers Covered
RA 11210 covers all female workers in both public and private sectors including the informal economy regardless of the civil status of the mother or the child. So mothers who are not married, separated, or annulled, can avail of all the benefits provided by this new law.
- Leave Availed Continuously
Maternity leave taken under RA 11210 should be continuous and uninterrupted and cannot be deferred. This means that maternity leave is only available around the time of birth of the mother’s baby and cannot be availed of after a certain period. This period will be specified under the implementing rules of the law. Also, the leave has to be continuous and uninterrupted. Once the mother avails of the benefit, she may use up all her allowed leaves under the law, but once she goes back to work, the leaves will be considered forfeited.
- Covers All Cases
Maternity leave under RA 11210 is granted in all cases of pregnancy, miscarriage or emergency termination, regardless of how many times the pregnancy occurs. This is different from the old law where maternity leave is only allowed in the first 4 pregnancies. However, in cases of miscarriage or emergency termination of pregnancy, maternity leave with full pay is limited to only sixty (60) days.
- Transferrable Leave Credits
Under RA 11210, the mother may, at her option, allocate up to 7 leave days to the child’s father, regardless if they are married or not. In case of death, absence, or incapacity of the father, said benefit may be allocated to another caregiver who may be a relative within the 4th degree of consanguinity (the mother’s parent, grandparent, uncle or aunt, cousin, or child), or the mother’s current partner sharing the same household and taking into consideration the best interests of the child. There should however be notice given to the employer of both the mother and the alternate caregiver.
if the mother dies or is permanently incapacitated, the remainder of her maternity leave benefits shall accrue to the father of the child or the alternate caregiver.
- Maternity Leave Even After Termination
The maternity leave with full pay is still available for the mother even if the birth of the child or its miscarriage occurs within 15 days after the termination of the employee.