What is Paternity Leave and Who can avail it?

Some dads have been asking if they also have a set of paternity benefits like what qualified pregnant moms do.

In the Philippines, there is what we call paternity leave but the benefit the dads get are very limited compared to what maternity benefits offer.

So, what exactly is paternity leave and what benefits does it offer? First, let us know about the Paternity Leave Act.

What is Republic Act No. 8187, or the Paternity Leave Act of 1996:

This is a law that grants Paternity Leave of 7 days with full pay to all married employees in the private and public sectors for the first 4 deliveries (including miscarriages) of the legitimate spouse with whom he is cohabiting or  living together.

Who are eligible to avail of the paternity leave?

Not all soon-to-be-father can avail of the paternity leave. According to the law, to be able to avail of the Paternity Leave, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You are employed either in the government or private company.
  • You are legally married to your wife.
  • Your wife is giving birth (normal delivery, CS delivery, or miscarriage).
  • You are eligible to avail of paternity leave for the first 4 deliveries.
  • You and your wife are cohabiting or  living under one roof.
  • You have submitted your Paternity notification form to your employer.

Paternity Leave Requirements

To apply for paternity leave, you must submit the following requirements:

  • notification of pregnancy (as soon as you learned that your wife is pregnant)
  • paternity notification form (before your wife’s due date)
  • copy of marriage contract (or any proof of marriage prior to your child’s delivery)
  • birth certificate signed by the attending physician or midwife

In case of miscarriage, you have to submit the following documents to your employer

  • death and/or medical certificate signed by the attending physician or midwife

Paternity Leave Benefit

When you qualify and meet the requirements, you will be granted

  • seven working days with full pay, including basic salary, allowances, and other monetary benefits.

The paternity leave cannot be converted into cash benefit. The leave credits are also noncumulative. It means that seven days of paternity leave for the first child cannot be carried over for when you welcome your second baby.

The money that you will get is not a loan but it is payment for your absence from work as if you are present. You’ll receive it on the next payday after taking your paternity leave days.

Please take note that the paternity leave is not the same as the maternity benefit. It is not filed with the Social Security System (SSS) but with your employer.

Basically, you’re given a time off from work so that you can help and assist your wife in caring for your newborn child while she is recovering. In case of miscarriage, this is your time to help and support your wife as she recovers physically and emotionally.

You may also ask your employer if there’s a certain benefit that they offer for new parents.

When can I avail of my Paternity Leave?

You can avail of the Paternity Leave immediately before, during, and after your child’s birth or your wife’s miscarriage.

It can also be in irregular intervals within 60 days after your child’s date of birth as long as the total number of leaves days does not exceed 7 days.

maternity-leave

F.A.Q.’s about Paternity Leave

What should I do if my employer refuse to give my Paternity Leave Benefit?

  1. Ask your company why. If they say that you don’t have all the requirements, then accomplish what’s missing, and submit them again.
  2. If after submitting all the requirements and they’re still denying your case, you may file a complaint in the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Remember, as long as you have met all the qualifications, you have the right to avail of the Paternity Leave Benefit and your employer has no right to deny it.

Employers who violate the law are subject to a fine not exceeding P25,000 or imprisonment of not less than 30 days nor more than 6 months.

Are there other benefits that dads can expect in the future aside from the existing 7-day paternity leave? 

1. Expanded Maternity Leave

Senator Risa Hontiveros urges the House of Representatives to act on a bill that would extend paid maternity leave. If this proposed Expanded Maternity Leave is enacted into law, it will provide more leave with pay to a new mother and a number of leave days would be transferable to her husband and other caregivers.

2. Extending the Paternity Leave

Bulacan Rep.  Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado filed House Bill 6500 to provide paternity leave to all married employees, regardless of the nature of employment and lengthen the leave period to 15 days with full pay for all deliveries of their legitimate or common-law spouse with whom they are cohabiting.

HB 6500 also grants the father-employee an option to extend his leave for an additional 15 days without pay, provided that they give due notice to his employer within five days prior to the expiration of their original 15-day paternity leave.

The bill provides that the paternity leave shall not be deducted from the employee’s annual leave credits. (Source)

These two proposed laws are still being reviewed and hopefully it will be approved in the future so that moms, dads, and newborn children can all benefit from these.

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