Solo Parent Leave

Solo parent leave benefits are leave credits extended to covered employees who are solo parents, and who may want to use them whenever they take a leave from work to perform parental duties, so that they remain paid during such absence from work. The benefit applies to all solo parents. The benefit consists of seven (7) working days of leave credits with full pay.

1. Concept

Parental leave for solo parents or solo parent leave – refers to ‘leave benefits granted to a solo parent to enable the performance of parental duties and responsibilities where physical presence is required or beneficial to the child.’(R.A. 8972, as amended, Section 3[e])

a. Legal basis

The following is the legal basis:

Legal BasisProvisions
1) R.A. 8972, As amended by R.A. 11861Section 8

b. Solo parent

Solo parent – refers to ‘any individual who falls under any of the following categories:

(a) A parent who provides sole parental care and support of the child or children due to –

(1) Birth as a consequence of rape, even without final conviction: Provided, That the mother has the sole parental care and support of the child or children: Provided, further, That the solo parent under this category may still be considered a solo parent under any of the categories in this section;

(2) Death of the spouse;

(3) Detention of the spouse for at least three (3) months or service of sentence for a criminal conviction;

(4) Physical or mental incapacity of the spouse as certified by a public or private medical practitioner;

(5) Legal separation or de facto separation for at least six (6) months, and the solo parent is entrusted with the sole parental care and support of the child or children;

(6) Declaration of nullity or annulment of marriage, as decreed by a court recognized by law, or due to divorce, subject to existing laws, and the solo parent is entrusted with the sole parental care and support of the child or children; or

(7) Abandonment by the spouse for at least six (6) months;

(b) Spouse or any family member of an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), or the guardian of the child or children of an OFW: Provided, That the said OFW belongs to the low/semi-skilled worker category and is away from the Philippines for an uninterrupted period of twelve (12) months: Provided, further, That the OFW, his or her spouse, family member, or guardian of the child or children of an OFW falls under the requirements of this section;

(c) Unmarried mother or father who keeps and rears the child or children;

(d) Any legal guardian, adoptive or foster parent who solely provides parental care and support to a child or children;

(e) Any relative within fourth (4th) civil degree of consanguinity or affinity of the parent or legal guardian who assumes parental care and support of the child or children as a result of the death, abandonment, disappearance or absence of the parents or solo parent for at least six (6) months: Provided, That in cases of solo grandparents who are senior citizens but who have the sole parental care and support over their grandchildren who are unmarried, or unemployed and twenty-two (22) years old or below, or those twenty-two (22) years old or over but who are unable to fully take care or protect themselves from abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation, or discrimination because of a physical or mental disability or condition, they shall be entitled to the benefits of this Act in addition to the benefits granted to them by Republic Act No. 9257, otherwise known as the ‘Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2003’; or

(f) A pregnant woman who provides sole parental care and support to the unborn child or children.’ (R.A. 8972, as amended, Section 4)

More info: Solo Parent Employees

2. The benefit

The BenefitComputation
Solo Parent Leave7 days with full pay

The benefit consists of ‘a forfeitable and noncumulative parental leave of not more than seven (7) working days with pay every year shall be granted to any solo parent employee.’ (R.A. 8972, as amended, Section 8)

a. 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.

b. Usage

The benefit is designed to grant a solo parent to enable him/her to perform parental duties and responsibilities where physical presence is required.

c. Non-cumulative; Forfeitable

The leave is ‘forfeitable and noncumulative.’ (R.A. 8972, as amended, Section 8)

Meaning, solo parent employees cannot save up their leave credits so that they can use it the following year. The leave benefits do not stack up the following year. Otherwise stated, the leave credits are consumable for the year that they are applicable.

d. Non-convertible to cash

The benefit is not convertible to cash as the objective is for the solo parent employee to perform parental duties and responsibilities where physical presence is required.

3. Conditions for entitlement

The following are the conditions for entitlement:

1) That they are solo parents as defined under R.A. 8972, as amended (R.A. 8972, as amended, Section 8);

2) That they have rendered service of at least six (6) months (R.A. 8972, as amended, Section 8);

3) That they have presented a Solo Parent Identification Card (SPIC) (R.A. 8972, as amended, Paragraph 2, Section 15[e]); and

4) That they have ‘notified their employer of the availment thereof within a reasonable time.’ (DOLE-BWC Handbook, p. 35)

a. Solo parents

Section 16. Limitation and Termination of the Benefits of a Solo Parent. – Only a solo parent exercising sole parental care and support of the child or children is entitled to claim the benefits of solo parent under this Act: Provided, That a solo parent shall not lose his or her status as solo parent if the other parent provides occasional assistance and/or seasonal gifts that do not meet the legal requirement of support under The Family Code of the Philippines: Provided, further, That the absence of a valid and legal marriage between the mother and father of a child or dependent doe snot automatically entitle either individual to the benefits under this Act if the factual circumstances demonstrate that parental care and support are shared. (As amended by R.A. 11861)

(R.A. 8972, as amended)

As provided in Section 16, the solo parent should and must be ‘exercising sole parental care and support of the child or children.’

Children or dependents – refer to ‘those living with and dependent upon the solo parent for support who are unmarried, unemployed and twenty-two (22) years old or below, or those over twenty-two (22) years old but who are unable to fully take care or protect themselves from abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation, or discrimination because of a physical or mental disability or condition: Provided, That this definition shall only apply for purposes of availing the benefits under this Act.’ (R.A. 8972, as amended, Section 4[b])

Parental care and support – refer to ‘the acts of providing for the basic needs, health care, mental and physical safety, emotional support and formation of the personality of the child.’ (R.A. 8972, as amended, Section 3[d])

1) Maintains status of solo parent

Solo parents do not lose their status as solo parents ‘if the other parent provides occasional assistance and/or seasonal gifts that do not meet the requirement of support under the Family Code’. (R.A. 8972, as amended, Section 16)

2) Excluded solo parents

Being a solo parent does not automatically entitle an employee to the benefit.

Similarly, ‘the absence of a valid and legal marriage between the mother and father of a child or dependent does not automatically entitle either individual to the benefits.’ (R.A. 8972, as amended, Section 16)

Thus, the leave benefit is not available to:

1) Solo parent-employees who share parental care and support with the other parent ; or,

2) Solo parent-employees who are not exercising parental care and support of the children are not entitled to the leave benefit. (R.A. 8972, as amended, Section 16)

3) No longer a solo parent

The benefit will be terminated if the employees loses their status as solo parents, such as by marrying or re-marrying, adoption of the children by other persons, and similar thereto.

4) Employment status, irrelevant

The employment status of an employee is irrelevant.

Meaning, so long as employees meet the conditions, they are entitled to the benefit ‘regardless of their employment status’ (R.A. 8972, as amended, Section 8). Otherwise stated, solo-parent employees who meet the conditions are entitled to the benefit, whether or not they are regular, probationary, casual, project, seasonal, or fixed-term.

b. 6 months of service

The six (6) months of service may be ‘continuous or broken’. (DOLE-BWC Handbook, p. 35)

Broken – includes workdays where the employee may have been absent, on leave, or unable to work for whatever reason. For example, an employee who has been with the employer for six (6) months, inclusive of a medical leave for two (2) months (and thus he was not working for this duration), would meet the 6-month requirement.

c. Solo Parent Identification Card

Section 17. The Solo Parents Office or Division. – There shall be established a Solo Parent Office (SPO) in every province and city and a Solo Parent Division (SPD) under the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office in every municipality.
The head of the SPO must be a licensed social worker and the head of the SPD must possess a bachelor’s degree. x x x
Section 20. SPIC and Booklet. – The SPO of the province or city, or the SPD of the municipality shall review and verify the documents submitted by the applicant and shall issue the SPIC and booklet, if applicable, within seven (7) working days from receipt of complete documents. In case of dispute, the Municipal/City/Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (M/C/PSWDO), as the case may be, shall resolve the same within five (5) working days. x x x

(R.A. 8972, as amended)

The Solo Parent Identification Card or “SPIC” is issued by the Solo Parent Office (SPO) of the province/city/municipality where the solo-parent employees submitted their application.

d. Notice to employer

Solo parent-employees should provide notice to their employees within a reasonable period of time so that the adjustments may be made to cover any work that the employees may leave while on leave.

As to what constitutes a reasonable period of time will primarily depend on the employer’s written workplace policy applicable to solo parent leave or leave in general. If there is none, a reasonable period of time will depend on what is generally accepted in the industry, in the specific work done by the employee, and all other factors. In short, it will be on a case-to-case basis.

For example, a two-week notice may be reasonable in a regular office for an administrative work; however, a two-week notice may not be reasonable in a factory or plant involving work that requires constant monitoring of heavy and expensive machinery and looking for a reliever may not be that easy to do.

Notwithstanding, emergencies (e.g. medical, calamity, etc.) will be an exception to the reasonable period notice.

NB: While the DOLE-BWC Handbook states as additional condition that the solo parent employees should ‘have notified their employer of the availment [of the leave benefits] within a reasonable time’ (DOLE-BWC Handbook, p. 35), it is respectfully submitted that this is not a condition as it is not provided for by law or in R.A. 8972; rather, the notice requirement is an administrative matter in relation to filing an application for the leave. Otherwise stated, conditions are those inherent or attributable to the employees to be able to avail of the benefit.

4. Favorable stipulations to employees

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.

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