President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law in 2019 Republic Act No. 11210, or the “105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law,” which extends paid maternity leave from 60 days to 105 days.

This law covers female workers in the public and private sectors, including those in the informal economy, and entitles them to 105 days of maternity leave paid at 100 percent of their average daily salary credit. The law also provides for an additional 15 days of paid leave if the female worker qualifies as a solo parent under the Solo Parent Welfare Act of 2000, with an option to extend for an additional 30 days without pay.

The law increases the daily maternity leave benefit from the initial 60 days for normal delivery, or 72 days for caesarian delivery, to 105 days, regardless of the type of delivery. In case of a miscarriage or an emergency termination of pregnancy, the entitlement is 60 days of paid maternity leave. The law further expands maternity leave to every instance of pregnancy, miscarriage, or emergency termination, regardless of frequency, from the previous limit of the first four deliveries or miscarriages.

Moreover, a female worker entitled to maternity leave may, at her option, allocate up to seven days of the paid leave to the child’s father, in addition to the benefits granted to him under the Paternity Leave Act of 1996 (if applicable), whether or not he is married to the female worker. In case of death, absence, or incapacity of the father, the benefit may be allocated to an alternate caregiver, who may be a relative within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or the current partner of the female worker sharing the same household.

To be entitled to the above maternity leave benefits, a pregnant female worker in the private sector must have (i) paid at least 3 months’ contributions in the 12-month period immediately preceding the semester of her childbirth, miscarriage, or emergency termination of pregnancy; and (ii) notified her employer of her pregnancy and the probable date of her childbirth.

Employers that fail to comply with the provisions of the law are subject to a fine of not less than 20,000 pesos (PHP) nor more than PHP 200,000 and/or imprisonment for not less than 6 years and 1 day nor more than 12 years, as well as the non-renewal of business permits.

Written by Roy Enrico C. Santos and Raya Grace T. Tan of Puyat Jacinto & Santos Law Offices and Roger James of Ogletree Deakins

© 2020 Puyat Jacinto & Santos Law Offices and Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.