Expanded Maternity Leave: Inclusions and Implications in the Workplace

“Pwede na magbuntis!” is what I kept hearing after news came out that the President Rodrigo Duterte signed the bill.

But, what is it, really? What does it mean to the couple, to the employees, to the employers and to the HR practitioners?

What is RA 11210 and Why should I Care About It?

Here’s the link to the full document in downloadable PDF format.

What are its Highlights?

  • 105 Days Paid ML (from previous 60 for normal delivery and 78 for CS).
  • Could be taken before or after delivery, provided that there’s 60 days remaining post-partum.
  • Mothers can transfer 7 days to their spouse, coordination should be made with both employers.
  • Can extend 30 days more, unpaid leave. Should send notice 45 days before end of paid leave.
  • In the untoward event that something happens to the mother, the caregiver (who may be a family member or the spouse himself) can claim this benefit.

What does it mean for the Workforce?

While this is a very good gesture from the government to support families with new born child/children, it comes with a price.

How much are we talking? Let’s wait for the Implementing Rules and Regulation (IRR) of RA 11199.

It may impact both budgeting for the office (for SSS employer share) and the home.

The Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) is not yet out. But surely, stay tuned for that.

[Update] Read: Important Points from the IRR: Expanded Maternity Leave Law

Update Mar 16: Here’s the updated table of contributions and related article – SSS Updated Table of Contributions.

How can HR Practitioners support this change?

If yours has demographics like ours, then there’s very high probability of women going on maternity leave – we are talking one or more at a time within the same team. Readiness is key!

How to keep the team’s performance up despite an incomplete roster for three or four?

  • Create or orchestrate a strong back-up system via cross-trainings or rotation programs.
  • Ensure that updated desktop procedures or documented processes are in place.
  • Keep an eye on efficiencies via Continuous Improvement Programs to save on extra non-value adding (NVA) tasks.
  • Prioritization is key. Identify and clearly lay out to the team most important deliverables for focus and quality.
  • Have a good talent pipe, strive for a “ready-now” or “ready-in-6-months” successor for leaders, someone who can readily assume a leadership post when someone goes on maternity leave or gets a promotion.

How about you? What are your thoughts on this expanded maternity leave law? What programs can we run in the office to help in the adjustment period?

It is a great new change for us in the Philippines. Sure there are adjustments to be done, but people will to get used to it, too. At the end of the day, it is family that matters. The way I see it, this is one such program that emphasizes that importance.

Til next! 🙂

Featured photo from freepik.com by @phduet

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