H – Paternity leave
▪ Paternity leave benefits are given to married male employees whose legal wife underwent delivery or miscarriage.
▪ The benefit applies to all male employee regardless of employment status.
▪ The benefit consists of seven (7) days of leave credits with full pay.
▪ The married male employee is required to be cohabiting with his legal wife unless there is a justifying circumstance.
▪ The benefit is non-convertible to cash and non-cumulative.
Paternity leave benefits are leave credits extended to married male employees “for purposes of enabling him to effectively lend support to his wife in her period of recovery and/or in the nursing of the newly-born child” (Sec. 3, R.A. 8187).
The paternity leave benefits apply to male employees regardless of their employment status (e.g. regular, probationary, casual, project, seasonal, fixed-term).
2. The Benefit
The benefit consists of seven (7) days of leave credits with full pay.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), through issuances, has interpreted the benefit as seven (7) calendar days, and not working days.
The benefit applies to the first four (4) deliveries of the male employee’s legal wife, with whom he is cohabiting.
The term “cohabiting” refers to the obligation of the husband and wife to live together unless there is a justifying circumstance for them living separately. This may include situations wherein either one of them may be required to live elsewhere due to work (e.g. deployment, overseas work, etc.), as well as due to medical reasons such as when either one of them has to be admitted to a hospital for his/her protection from diseases or be quarantined to avoid the spread of a communicable disease.
3. The Computation
The leave credit is equal to the basic salary, including mandatory and/or integrated allowances. The pay shall not be less than the minimum wage.
The law requires that as a condition for the entitlement of the benefit that the male employee’s wife has given birth or suffered as a miscarriage. Hence, the paternity leave benefit is used after the delivery or miscarriage.
5. Conditions for entitlement
The following are the conditions for entitlement:
1) He is an employee at the time of the delivery;
2) He is cohabiting with his spouse at the time that she gives birth or suffers a miscarriage;
3) He has applied for paternity leave with his employer within a reasonable period of time from the expected date of delivery by his pregnant spouse, or within such period as may be provided by company rules and regulations, or by collective bargaining agreement; and,
4) His wife has given birth or suffered a miscarriage.
The application should be made within a reasonable period of time to give the employer an opportunity to make adjustments while the male employee is on leave.
However, for miscarriage, prior application is not required.
7. Non-convertible to cash
The benefit is not convertible to cash as the objective is for the male employee to attend to his wife after her delivery or miscarriage.
The benefit is not cumulative, i.e. unused benefit cannot be added to the next delivery or miscarriage.
9. Employment contract, company policies, CBA
The above discussion may be superseded by any stipulation favorable to the employee via an employment contract, company policies, collective bargaining agreement, or analogous thereto.
▪ Jurisprudence or Supreme Court Decisions
Lawyer, Author, Mentor