Pregnant working mom

As you're preparing for the birth of your child, you must remember to file for your maternity leave. Staying at home to spend the first few weeks with your little one is crucial after giving birth. For working moms, it also gives you time to bond with your child. Meanwhile, it gives your body time to recover from pregnancy. Learn more about the benefits of maternity leave in the Philippines.

The Basics of the Law
According to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), many women quit their employment during their childbearing years, that is, from 25 to 29 years of age1. However, this need not be the case for most moms-to-be since Philippine laws provide for the benefit of maternity leaves. 
The Labor Code of the Philippines 1974 states that employers shall grant pregnant employees maternity leave with pay for 2 weeks before delivery and another 4 weeks after delivery2. It may be extended but without pay, in case of miscarriage or any other illness that may arise out of the pregnancy or delivery2.
Republic Act No. 8282. or the Social Security Act of 1997, also provided for maternity leave benefit of 60 days, or 78 days in case of caesarean delivery, to any female member who has paid at least 3 monthly contributions within the 12-month period preceding the childbirth6. 

The Expansion of the Act 
However, in a progressive move towards women empowerment, Republic Act No. 11210, also known as the Expanded Maternity Leave Law, was passed into law in 2019. This is definitely good news for moms who are working in the private or public sector. Thus, mothers who just gave birth, whether normal or via cesarean, can take their maternity leave:

  • 105 days with pay3
  • option to extend for another 30 days, with or without pay, subject to being charged against unused sick leave and vacation leave credits3
  • option to allocate 7 days to the child’s father or alternate caregiver3
  • additional 15 days for solo parents, under R.A. No. 8972 or the Solo Parents’ Welfare Act of 20003

In case of an extended period, which may be leave without pay, you still remain an employee of your company as it is not considered a break in your employment3. However, if you return to work before the end of your leave, you will not be paid for services rendered since maternity leave cannot be converted to cash3. So, it’s best to just relax and enjoy the full perks of your 105 or 60 days when you can enjoy those precious moments where your child gazes up adoringly at you and giggles in delight at the brand-new world before them.

For moms who suffered a miscarriage or termination of pregnancy, they can avail of 60 days paid maternity leave3. For sure, expectant moms need the time to recover and heal from their distasteful experience.

The Allocation to Fathers 
The option to allocate or transfer 7 days out of the 105 days to the child’s father is now available whether the parents are married or not3. This transferring of leave days must be done with the coordination of both employers of the child’s parents. This 7-day allocation is apart from the 7-day paternity leave already granted to fathers5.

Taken together, based on the Expanded Maternity Leave Law, fathers can now have 14 days paid leave. In case the child’s father is unable, the allocation may be given to your current partner or to a relative within the fourth degree, as the alternate caregiver of the child3. Such relatives include:

  • Parents, children (first degree)
  • Siblings, grandparents, grandchild (second degree)
  • Aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews (third degree)
  • First cousins (fourth degree) 

The Process of Availing
The maternity leave may be availed before or after actual delivery4. Take note that the 105 days includes weekends and holidays, since the law requires that maternity leaves should be continuous and uninterrupted3. Considering that, you may carefully choose out the dates of your leave period and combine together pre-natal and post-natal days. Either way, it’s best to always inform your employer of the intended leave or extension of the maternity leave. In case you are planning to extend beyond the 105 days, you must inform your employer 45 days beforehand3.

In 2018, there were 1,688,120 livebirths recorded in the Philippines7. For working moms, they need not sacrifice their career over raising a family, or choose one over the other. Today, working moms are able to look after their baby as maternity laws are in place to allow them to spend more time at home after childbirth.

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1 Half of Women in the Philippines Don’t Work Because Most are Moms (2019) Retrieved September 13, 2020 from
2 Labor Code, Book Three: Conditions of Employment (n.d.) Retrieved September 13, 2020 from
3 Frequently Asked Questions on Republic Act No. 11210 (2019) Retrieved September 13, 2020 from
4  Duterte Signs 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law (2019) Retrieved September 13, 2020 from
5  Republic Act 8187: Paternity Leave Act of 1996 (n.d.) Retrieved September 13, 2020 from
6  Republic Act 8282 (n.d.) Retrieved September 13, 2020 from
7  Births in the Philippines, 2018 (2019) Retrieved September 13, 2020 from