House panel approves 100-day maternity leave

The 100-day maternity leave bill is up to reach the plenary for discussion.

The bill seeks to increase the current maternity leave allowable maternity leave is between 60 and 78 days period to 100 days with pay.

The 100-day maternity leave bill or House Bill No. 4113 aims to promote the maternal health and post-natal health care of women, as well as the welfare of the newborn.

The bill which was recently approved by the house panel on gender and equality, also offers the option to extend the leave an additional 30 days without pay for female workers in the government service and the private sector.

The 100-day maternity leave bill assures the security of tenure of female workers while on maternity leave, and stresses that the leave should not be used as basis for demotion or termination.

Also reported, another provision states that a female member of the Social Security System who has paid at least three monthly contributions in the 12-month period immediately preceding the semester of her childbirth or miscarriage shall be paid her daily maternity benefit, which is to be computed based on the average monthly salary credit for 100 days regardless if the delivery was caesarian or normal.

Allegedly reiterated that the measure specifies that female workers in the private sector availing of the maternity period and benefits must receive not less than two-thirds of their regular monthly wages and that employers shall be responsible for the salary differential between the actual cash benefits received from the SSS and their average weekly or regular wages, for the entire duration of the ordinary maternity leave subject to exceptions.

These exceptions are: Those operating distressed establishments; Retail/service establishments employing not more than 10 workers; Those pay their workers on a purely commission, boundary, or task basis, and; Those paying a fixed amount for specific piece of work.

Also included in the exceptions are those considered as micro business enterprises and are engaged in the production, processing, or manufacturing or products or commodities including agro-processing, trading, and services whose total assets are not more than P3 million; and those who are already providing similar or more than the benefits as provided in the bill.

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