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Senate panel wants longer maternity leave period

Cittly · 6 · 2075


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The Senate committee on women, family relations, and gender equality is pushing for a measure that would mandate companies to allow employees who gave birth a longer period to take a leave.

Under a Senate proposal, the current 60- to 78-day paid maternity leave period would be extended to 90 days.

But Senator Pia Cayetano, the committee's chairwoman, is inclined to extend that to 14 weeks or 3 and a half months, in compliance with an International Labor Organization convention that the Philippines still has not ratified.

Cayetano stressed the importance of mothers being able to take care of and breastfeed their newborn children for a longer period than what the law currently allows.

"Until we make our maternity benefits more conducive, many women will end up leaving the workforce," she told reporters after a hearing on the measure on Tuesday.

"We give extended maternity leave to the mother so they can focus on being a mother for the first few months and get their pay. Then they will be able to return to the workforce confident that their children are healthy and in good hands."

In Sweden, the maternity leave period lasts for at least 9 months, according to UNICEF country representative Lotta Sylwander.

The wisdom behind it, she said, is that parents should be allowed to care for their children if government is unable to assist them with the cost of hiring carers. She said the same is true for the Philippines.

"In a society like the Philippines where more and more single mothers have babies, where nuclear families are becoming more and more common, it's going to be increasingly more difficult for parents to find someone to take care of their baby, as also the cost for baby care or child care is going to increase," Sylwander told the committee.

The UNICEF recommends having six months for maternity leave. Although Cayetano finds it difficult to achieve that for now, she said the Senate can find a compromise by making three months of it paid and the other half unpaid and optional.

No representative from the employer's federation attended Tuesday's hearing, but Cayetano sees no reason for employers to oppose the measure.

She also made a warning against employers who may choose not to hire pregnant women should the law mandate a longer period for maternity leave.

"Ako po ang makakalaban n'yo diyan (You will have to go against me)," Cayetano said.

"Napakaliit lang na bagay 'yan sa inyong financial position and it will not help our society in any way if women are discriminated just because of pregnancy (It will create a very small impact on your financial position, and it will not help our society in any way if woman are discriminated against just because of pregnancy)."


What do you think about this?


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This law will make those recently married women of child-bearing age a less attractive option for hiring.


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This law will make those recently married women of child-bearing age a less attractive option for hiring.

KOREK...mga boylets nlang ang i-hire.


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Maganda ang intention. And definitely makakatulong sa mga families both financially and emotionally. Pero pay point din po yung mga nasa taas na comments.

Kung ako kasi yung negosyante, mamumurublema lagi at magsa-suffer ang operation kapag laging may bagong training everytime na may magle-leave. Lalo na kung critical ang position ng employee. Mas gugustuhin ko pang puro males ang i-hire para maka-iwas dito. Di maiiwasan ang discrimination, mas magiging pabor sa mga single females ang hiring dahil matatakot ang companies sa hassle ng mga nag-maternity leave.

Discrimination is here to stay. The fact that females have maternity leave that is longer than the paternity leave, and in some instances non-existent is already discrimination. Peace  :watchuthink:


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this is no good. i know it is difficult for new moms but it will further the discrimination against female employees.
how about reduced work hours (say 6 instead of 8 hours) for 6 months.
or 10% increase in pay for 6 months to defray the cost of child care.

the company operations will be less affected as no additional absence is necessary.


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I think this will just make it harder for women to get hired. Because of the increase in cost on the part of the employer. Maybe, working hours can be reduced for the purpose of additional time for child care. But only for a few months. 


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