Leave Benefits Employees in the Philippines are Entitled to
All hardworking employees need a breather, and while some companies are generous with leave benefits, others may stick only to what is recommended by law.
Leave benefits, along with salary and health maintenance organization (HMO), are typically among the key considerations made before accepting new jobs. Surprisingly, sick leaves, vacation leaves, and emergency leaves, the leave benefits most tend to pay attention to, are not specifically stated as required under Philippine law.
We are not quite at the mercy of employers on the leave front however, as the law still mandates that employees are entitled to a range of leave benefits provided certain stipulations are met.
Service Incentive Leave
According to Article 95 of the Labor Code, as amended, if you have been working for a company for at least one year, you are entitled to five (5) days of annual Service Incentive Leave (SIL).
By law, the SIL can be used for sick and vacation leave purposes, and as such is typically included in the sick and vacation leave credits provided some employers to their employees.
However, as mentioned, companies are not mandated to offer sick and vacation leave benefits to employees, but as a job-seeker or employee, keep in mind that you are entitled to at least SILs after working for a year.
As per Republic Act (RA) 1161, and amended by RA 8282, pregnant employees in the private sector, whether married or unmarried, are entitled to Maternity Leave with Pay of sixty (60) days for normal delivery and seventy-eight (78) days for cesarean section delivery.
The law stipulates that, apart from being a female employee, you must also be an SSS member and that has paid at least three monthly contributions within the a 12-month period to successfully avail of maternity leave benefits.
*House Bill (HB) No. 4113 or the proposed 100-Day Maternity Leave Law, when eventually signed into law, is expected to supersede RA 1161. In a nutshell, HB No. 4113 aims to extend the current 60-day leave by another 40 days and would also give female employees the option to extend their maternity leave by another 30 days without pay.
Although reasonably shorter, soon-to-be fathers are also entitled to a leave of absence centered on the birth of their children. If you are a married male employee in the private sector, regardless of the status of your employment, you are entitled to seven (7) days Paternity Leave that will allow you to lend support to your wife during her period of recovery and/or in nursing your newborn child(ren).
This provided that you also meet the related stipulations, as per RA 8187:
You are an employee at the time of the delivery of his child;
You are cohabiting with your spouse at the time that she gives birth or suffers a miscarriage;
You applied for paternity leave with your employer within a reasonable period of time; and
Your wife has given birth or suffered a miscarriage.
Solo Parent Leave
Solo Parent Leave amounting to seven (7) days with pay are granted to solo parents to enable said person to perform parental duties and responsibilities where his/her physical presence is deemed necessary.
As per RA 8972, this type of leave is only applicable when you are a solo parent who has:
Rendered at least 1 year of service, whether continuous or broken which includes authorized absences and paid regular holidays;
Notified your employer that you will avail of it within a reasonable period of time; and
Presented a Solo Parent Identification Card, which may be obtained from the DSWD office of the city or municipality where you reside.
Leave with pay for Victims of Violence Against Women and their Children (VAWC)
By law, ten (10) days worth of VAWC are to readily available to female employees who are victims of physical, sexual, psychological harm or suffering, or economic abuse. It is meant to cover the days that female employees have to attend to medical and legal concerns.
If you are a female employee and have unfortunately been through some form of abuse, you can present to your employer a certification from the barangay chairman (Punong Barangay), or barangay kagawad, or prosecutor, or the Clerk of Court that an action relative to the matter is pending, to avail of the benefit.
As per RA 9262, the said leave shall be extended when the need arises, as specified in the protection order issued by the barangay or the court.
Special Leave for Women
If you are a female employee who has had to have surgery as a result of gynecological disorders, you can avail of Special Leave for Women. This leave benefit lasts for a maximum of two months and comes with full pay. You can avail of the benefit provided you’ve rendered a continuous aggregate employment service of six months, and have done so within the last 12 months.
As per RA 9710, female employees, regardless of their age and civil status, can avail of special leave benefits after having undergone surgery resulting from gynecological disorder without prejudice to an employer allowing her to receive her pay before or during the surgery.
Disclaimer: While a great deal of care and effort was exerted in the research and writing of this article, it in no way serves as an official guide to leave benefits in Philippines.
For greater technical and legal context regarding the leave benefits you are entitled to as an employee, it is best to refer to the most recent edition of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)’s Worker’s Statutory Monetary Benefits Handbook or inquire at the nearest branch of the local government unit.
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