Female public servants who gave birth from March 11, 2019 onwards can now enjoy the 105-day expanded maternity leave with full pay, or the 60-day maternity leave with full pay in case of miscarriage or emergency termination of pregnancy.
The Civil Service Commission (CSC), together with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Social Security System (SSS), issued the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 11210 or the Expanded Maternity Leave Law on May 1, 2019. The IRR defines the rules for availing of the expanded maternity leave.
“The expansion of maternity leave benefits is a very welcome development as it gives due consideration to the specific maternal health needs of female workers. We believe that female employees can be more capable of fulfilling their multiple roles at home and in the workplace if they are given ample time to rest and recover before and after giving birth or in the event of miscarriage or termination of pregnancy,” commented CSC Chairperson Alicia dela Rosa-Bala.
R.A. No. 11210 grants 105 days of paid maternity leave for live childbirth, regardless of the mode of delivery, and an additional 15 days if the female worker qualifies as a solo parent under Republic Act No. 8972 or the Solo Parents’ Welfare Act of 2000; and 60 days of paid leave in case of miscarriage or emergency termination of pregnancy. It applies in all instances of pregnancy, miscarriage, or emergency termination of pregnancy regardless of frequency.
The law does not distinguish civil status, length of service, employment status, and legitimacy of the child in granting the benefit.
Maternity leave under R.A. No. 11210 shall be availed of in a continuous and uninterrupted manner. Hence, the previous rule giving the female workers an option to return to work earlier than the prescribed period has been superseded.
Filing of the maternity leave should be done at least 30 days in advance, whenever possible, using Civil Service (CS) Form No. 6 with a medical certificate.
In case of live childbirth, female employees have the option to extend for an additional 30 days without pay or use her earned sick leave credits. If the sick leave credits have been fully consumed, vacation leave credits may be used. For the extended leave, written notice must be given to the employer at least 45 days before the end of the employee’s maternity leave, except in case of medical emergencies where prior notice is not required. Furthermore, the extended maternity leave shall not be considered a gap in service.
Allocation of maternity leave
The female employee may allocate up to seven (7) days of her maternity leave to the child’s father, which is separate from the seven-day paternity leave granted under Republic Act No. 8187 or the “Paternity Leave Act of 1996”.
In case of death, absence, or incapacity of the child’s father, the female worker may allocate the seven days to an alternate caregiver, who should be a relative within the fourth degree of consanguinity, or her current partner, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, with whom she shares household.
However, if the female worker dies or becomes permanently incapacitated, the maternity leave benefits or the balance of such shall be given to the child’s father or to the alternate caregiver, provided that the leave benefits have not yet been commuted to cash. A certified true copy of the death or medical certificate or abstract shall be submitted to the employers of both the female worker and the child’s father or alternate caregiver.
If the maternity leave benefits have already been paid to the female worker, the child’s father or alternate caregiver shall only be excused from work without pay. Such leave without pay shall not be considered as a gap in the service.
The complete text of the IRR of the Expanded Maternity Leave Law may be accessed and downloaded here.