Longer maternity leave won’t discourage firms from hiring women

MANILA � Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Thursday said employers will not be discouraged from hiring women with the signing of the Expanded Maternity Leave (EML) Law by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Bello noted that companies should be encouraged to hire women because when employees are happy, they are more productive.

When you are a happy employee, you work well... It's for the good of everybody especially for our women workers, he said in an interview.

He added that they are looking to release the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) within 45 days.

Usually we are given 90 days but we don't intend to fully utilize the 90 days, he said.

Meanwhile, the Nagkaisa Labor Coalition applauded women workers all over the country for their triumph in expanding paid maternity leave to 105 days.

Forty-five days more can make a lot of difference. By increasing to 105 days what is just 60 days of maternity leave working mothers are entitled to at present, we as a society show the importance, we give to developing our human resources from the womb, the group said in a statement.

Women workers have long fought for longer maternity leave. This victory is theirs with the wholehearted support and admiration of all Filipino trade unions and workers, it added.

On the other hand, the Workers for Expanded Maternity Leave (Workers 4EML) likened the journey of the EML law to a pregnant mother that after all the aches and pains of being pregnant, she finally gave birth to her child.

Women workers finally give birth to 105 days of maternity leave. After years of struggle, a few bumps and bruises and a pocketful of resilience, women workers have finally won for themselves 105 days of maternity leave, the group said.

The Workers 4EML consider this as a major victory for women workers, women's health and the women's rights movement in the Philippines, the group added.

Under the law, a total of 45 days are added to the maternity leave days. Whether by normal delivery or by caesarian section, the working mother will now enjoy 105 days of maternity leave, with seven days transferable to fathers. An additional 15 days will be granted to single mothers.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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