105 days for maternity leave: What’s the impact of this in the business sector?
It’s a done deal!
The Senators and Congressmen bicameral conference committee approved the Expanded Maternity Leave bill by adding five more days to the proposed 100-day leave.
For Rep. Emmi de Jesus of the women’s party-list group Gabriela “This is a very positive start of our #PinkOctober campaign that seeks to highlight women’s health.”
“This is proof of women’s resounding call for lawmakers to increase the current 60-day maternity leave period for normal delivery, which is way below the international minimum standard of 98 days,” she added.
This bicameral version that is recently approved provides 105 days paid maternity leave for public and private sector workers, with an option to extend for an additional 30 unpaid days; additional 15 maternity leave days for solo parents and covers every instance of pregnancy.
“At a time when women workers are increasingly crushed by the pressure of making ends meet amid rising prices, a longer paid maternity period is one of the few positive things that the government can enact,” De Jesus said.
With this approval, according to Gabriela Partylist Representative, it showed the government’s recognition of every woman’s productive contribution to the economy and to the country as a whole.
Meanwhile, Alfred Vargas, Congressman of Quezon City and one of the co-authors of House Bill 4113, commended his colleagues, along with Sens. Nancy Binay and Risa Hontiveros, for reconciling and harmonizing the provisions of Expanded Maternity Leave Bill.
Vargas said, “The dedication, enthusiasm and insights of the bicam members are truly inspiring. The main purpose of the measure is to allow every mother to have more time to take care of her newly born child and herself.”
“Records show that around 11 Filipino mothers die every day or an estimated 4,500 every year due to severe hemorrhage, hypertensive disorders, sepsis and problems related to obstructed labor and abortion,” Vargas noted.
De Jesus likewise called on the leadership of the Social Security System (SSS) to cover the additional maternity benefits for female employees in the private sector without increasing their contributions by an estimated 0.3 or 0.4 percent.
“The SSS should not use the expanded maternity leave as justification for a contribution that will further cut the take-home pay of our workers,” the militant lawmaker said.
“The state pension fund should address its inefficient collection, failed investments and foregone revenues from loans instead of depriving mothers of longer maternity leave period,” De Jesus added.
At the same time, Gabriela lauded the improved provision in the bicameral version on penalties of at least P20,000 for the non-conferment of the expanded maternity leave to employees, from the original minimum penalty of P5,000 in the Senate version.
Gabriela and the Kilusan ng Manggagawang Kababaihan, among others, distributed pink roses early morning yesterday to members of the bicameral conference committee to signify the push for #PinkOctober and the expanded maternity leave.
For their part, labor coalition Nagkaisa yesterday lauded the approval of the 105-day expanded maternity leave for female workers in government and the private sector by the bicameral conference panel. Nagkaisa chairman Sonny Matula said that the approval is a manifestation “of a society that cares” for women.
Interestingly, as per the UNICEF record, the United Kingdom gives 36 weeks (180 days), India 26 weeks (130 days), Turkey 16 weeks (80 days) and Philippines 21 weeks (105 days) based on 5 working days.
While many labor sectors celebrate this, the big question is with the growing number of women in the workplace and also with the micro and small enterprises (MSE) that accounts for 99.13% , 89.63% are microenterprises and the 9.50% are small, and provide more than 4M jobs, what is the impact on this in the business sector?
THEPHILBIZNEWS is trying to get the comment from both Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) and Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry regarding this and still awaiting for their reply as of this posting.