Maternity leave benefits is found under the Article 133 of the Labor Code and Section 14-A of “Social Security Act of 1997″ (Republic Act No. 8282). Checklist for Availment of Maternity Benefits under Social Security Act The pregnant woman employee must have paid at least three monthly contributions within the 12-month period immediately preceding the semester of her childbirth or miscarriage. She has given the required notification of her pregnancy through her employer if employed, or to the SSS if separated, voluntary or self-employed member. Maternity Leave
Under Article 133(a) of the Labor Code, “Every employer shall grant to any pregnant woman employees who has rendered an aggregate service of at least six months for the last twelve months, maternity leave of at least two weeks prior to the expected date of delivery and another four weeks after normal delivery or abortion, with full pay based on her regular or average weekly wages.” From the above provision, a qualified pregnant woman employee shall be entitled maternity leave of at least two weeks prior to expected date of delivery and another four weeks after normal delivery or abortion. That’s a total of six weeks maternity leave.
(Note: Article 133, particularly provisions pertaining to benefits and procedure for availment, must give way to Social Security Act.) Leave extension Maternity leave may be extended on account of illness arising out of the pregnancy, delivery, abortion or miscarriage, which renders the woman unfit for work. Extended maternity leave is without pay, but may be charged against any unused leave credits. Maternity Benefits under SSS Law
A pregnant woman member of SSS who has paid at least three monthly contributions in the twelve-month period immediately preceding the semester of her childbirth or miscarriage shall be paid a daily maternity benefit. Amount
SSS maternity benefit shall be equivalent to 100% of the pregnant employee’s average daily salary credit for 60 days, or 78 days in case of caesarian delivery.
Time of payment
The full payment of maternity benefits shall be advanced by the employer within 30 days from the filing of the maternity leave application.
Who makes the payment
The SSS shoulders the payment of maternity benefits. But the procedure is that the payment is to be initially advanced by the employer, subject to immediate reimbursement by SSS.
Checklist for Availment
The pregnant woman employee must have paid at least three monthly contributions within the 12-month period immediately preceding the semester of her childbirth or miscarriage. She has given the required notification of her pregnancy through her employer if employed, or to the SSS if separated, voluntary or self-employed member. “3-monthly Contribution” Illustration
To avail of maternity benefits, the woman employee must have paid at least three monthly contributions within the 12-month period immediately preceding the semester of her childbirth or miscarriage. A semester refers to two consecutive quarters ending in the quarter of contingency; A quarter refers to three consecutive months ending March, June, September or December. To illustrate, assume that the projected date of delivery is March 2010. The semester of childbirth would be from October 2009 to March 2010.
This is called the semester of contingency. Count 12 months backwards starting from the month immediately before the semester of contingency, which is September 2009. Hence, the 12-month period immediately preceding the semester of childbirth or miscarriage is from October 2008 to September 2009. To avail of the benefits, the employee must have paid at least 3 monthly contributions during this period. Note that this requirement supersedes Article 133, which requires that the woman employees must have rendered an aggregate service of at least six months for the last twelve months.
Valid marriage not required
Unlike in paternity leave where valid marriage is a requisite for availment, the existence of a valid marriage is not required to avail of maternity leave benefits.
Limitation on Availment
Entitlement to maternity leave under the Labor Code and maternity benefits under the SSS Law applies only for the first four delivery. Bar to recovery of sickness benefits. That payment of daily maternity benefits is a bar to the recovery of SSS sickness benefits for the same period for which daily maternity benefits have been received.
Effect of Failure of Employer to Remit Contribution.
If the employer fails to remit the required contributions, or to notify SSS of the time of the pregnancy, the employer shall pay to the SSS damages equivalent to the benefits which said employee member would otherwise have been entitled to.
Tax Treatment of Meternity Benefit
Maternity benefits advanced by employer to employee are excluded from gross income and thus exempt from withholding tax. Under the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC), all “benefits received from or enjoyed under the Social Security System in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act No. 8282″ shall not be included in gross income and shall be exempt from taxation. (Section 32 [B][e], NIRC)
What You Should Know About Maternity Leave Benefits in the Philippines? Maternity Leave Benefit in the Philippines varies depending on your employment. This article only covers employees from the private sector . According to Book III Title III Chapter 1 of the Philippine Labor Code [Presidential Decree No. 422, as Amended]: ART. 133. Maternity leave benefits. – (a) Every employer shall grant to any pregnant woman employee who has rendered an aggregate service of at least six (6) months for the last twelve (12) months, maternity leave of at least two (2) weeks prior to the expected date of delivery and another four (4) weeks after normal delivery or abortion with full pay based on her regular or average weekly wages.
The employer may require from any woman employee applying for maternity leave the production of a medical certificate stating that delivery will probably take place within two weeks. (b) The maternity leave shall be extended without pay on account of illness medically certified to arise out of the pregnancy, delivery, abortion or miscarriage, which renders the woman unfit for work, unless she has earned unused leave credits from which such extended leave may be charged. (c) The maternity leave provided in this Article shall be paid by the employer only for the first four (4) deliveries by a woman employee after the effectivity of this Code.
Furthermore, Republic Act No. 7322 AN ACT INCREASING MATERNITY BENEFITS IN FAVOR OF WOMEN WORKERS IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE SECTION 14-A OF REPUBLIC ACT NO. 1161, AS AMENDED, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES states: SECTION 1. Section 14-A of Republic Act No. 1161, as amended, is further amended to read as follows: SEC. 14-A. Maternity Leave Benefit. – A covered female employee who has paid at least three monthly maternity contributions in the twelve-month period preceding the semester of her childbirth, abortion or miscarriage and who is currently employed shall be paid a daily maternity benefit equivalent to one hundred percent (100%) of her present basic salary, allowances and other benefits or the cash equivalent of such benefits for sixty (60) days subject to the following conditions: (a) That the employee shall have notified her employer of her pregnancy and the probable date of her childbirth which notice shall be transmitted to the SSS in accordance with the rules and regulations it may provide;
(b) That the payment shall be advanced by the employer in two equal installments within thirty (30) days from the filing of the maternity leave application: (c) That in case of caesarean delivery, the employee shall be paid the daily maternity benefit for seventy-eight (78) days; (d) That payment of daily maternity benefits shall be a bar to the recovery of sickness benefits provided by this Act for the same compensable period of sixty (60) days for the same childbirth, abortion, or miscarriage; (e) That the maternity benefits provided under this Section shall be paid only for the first four deliveries after March 13, 1973;
(f) That the SSS shall immediately reimburse the employer of one hundred percent (100%) of the amount of maternity benefits advanced to the employee by the employer upon receipt of satisfactory proof of such payment and legality thereof; and (g) That if an employee should give birth or suffer abortion or miscarriage without the required contributions having been remitted for her by her employer to the SSS, or without the latter having been previously notified by the employer of the time of the pregnancy, the employer shall pay to the SSS damages equivalent to the benefits which said employee would otherwise have been entitled to, and the SSS shall in turn pay such amount to the employee concerned.” SEC.
2. Nothing in this Act shall be construed as to diminish existing maternity benefits under present laws and collective bargaining agreements. SEC. 3. All laws, executive orders, prodamations,.presidential decrees, rules and regulations, and other issuances, or parts hereof, inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly. SEC. 4. This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two (2) national newspapers of general circulation, whichever comes earlier.
In short, you are entitled to a 60 days maternity leave (78 if you had a caesarean delivery) provided that: 1. you have notified your employer of your pregnancy including your estimated delivery date; 2. you are an active SSS member and employee at the time of your delivery; 3. you have paid a minimum of three month contribution to SSS within the 12-month period prior to your delivery (miscarriage); and 4. this is your first, second, third or fourth pregnancy (and/or miscarriage) So remember,
Once you’ve confirmed your pregnancy (usually once you’ve got your first ultrasound), make sure to file the necessary papers to notify your company. This is around 6-8 weeks of pregnancy. It’s very important that you file early so you can avail of your benefits should anything happen to you like miscarriage or other complication that would require you to take an early leave. File your maternity leave early. Your company is mandated by law to give you your maternity benefit within 30 days of filling. They usually release advance payment before your leave if you file it on time. Otherwise, you might have to after giving birth. Company may have other policies about maternity benefits, so make sure to review your contract and talk to your company’s HR personnel so know what you’re entitled to.
Also once you’ve given birth, don’t forget to submit all the necessary documents to your HR so they can submit them to SSS for reimbursement. You would need to submit following: SSS Form MAT-1 and MAT-2, your child’s birth certificate, your SSS ID, obstetrical history and operating record for caesarean delivery. The SSS forms are available in your HR department or you can get a copy at sss.gov.ph. The full list of requirements is also available in the site. When I posted about maternity leave benefits in my old blog, a lot of people ask why some of them got less than their 60-day salary. The maternity benefit you are entitled as an SSS member is 100% of your average daily salary credit multiplied by 60 (78) days.
The details of the computation can be found here. You’ll also see there that the maximum salary credit per day is around Php 500 so at most, you’ll be able to receive around Php 30,000 for normal delivery and Php 39,000 for caesarean delivery. Self-employeed SSS members and also voluntary SSS members are also entitled to this same SSS Maternity Benefits as long as they meet the requirements mentioned above. The only difference is they do the filing and notification directly to SSS. I work in the government sector.
Am I entitled to maternity leave? Every pregnant employee is entitled to maternity leave but the conditions change depending on several factors. If you are a government employee, you are allowed to take a maternity leave of 60 calendar days with pay, whether you deliver via normal or cesarean delivery. You are also entitled to maternity benefits in full if you have been working for your government office or agency for at least two years. If you have rendered service for more than a year but less than two years, you will receive maternity benefits in proportion to your length of service. (And half-pay if you have been working there for less than one year.)
Maternity leave covers both childbirth and miscarriage. The law provides minimum requirements that you can expect from your employer. Talk to your human resources manager or administrative officer to find out if your employer provides greater maternity benefits than the required minimum. Read your employment contract or collective bargaining agreement carefully and see what it says about your employer’s policy on maternity leaves and benefits.
I work for a private company. What maternity benefits am I entitled to? A private sector employee is entitled to take a leave with full pay for 60 calendar days (for normal delivery) or 78 calendar days (for cesarean delivery) as long as certain conditions are met:
* You are an SSS member employed at the time of delivery or miscarriage. * You have previously notified your employer about your pregnancy and due date. * You have paid at least three monthly contributions to the SSS within the 12-month period preceding your semester of childbirth or miscarriage. * Understand that you can claim maternity benefits only for your first four deliveries, including miscarriages.
What do you mean by semester of childbirth?
This is the six-month period prior to your giving birth. For example, if you expect to give birth in June 2012, your semester of childbirth is the period from January 2012 to June 2012.
What about the three monthly contributions preceding the semester of childbirth? SSS requires that in the 12 months preceding your semester of childbirth (if you’re due in June 2012, then the period is January to December 2011), you should have paid at least 3 monthly contributions. This 12-month period is important because they will determine how much maternity pay to give you based on your monthly salary during this 12-month period. SSS has a formula for computing your maternity benefit using your six highest monthly credits.
What do I have to submit to my employer?
Make sure that you:
* Give your employer a notice of your pregnancy and due date by submitting SSS Form MAT-1(Maternity Notification Form) at least 60 days from the time you know about your pregnancy and proof of pregnancy, such as laboratory test results, ultrasound report and a medical certificate from your doctor. Your employer will then submit these documents to the SSS.
* Maternity leave covers both childbirth and miscarriage. The law provides the minimum requirements that you can expect from your employer. Some companies give more than the minimum requirements. Talk to your human resources manager or administrative officer so you’ll know what your company offers. It would be good to read your employment contract or collective bargaining agreement and learn more about your employer’s policy on maternity leaves and benefits. Your company’s maternity policy may be better than the legal minimum. Thus your entitlements could be different from those of your colleagues or friends working for other companies.
Find out exactly what your entitlements are by contacting:
* your human resources or personnel manager
* your labor union representative
* the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Regional Office in your place of work Before taking maternity leave
File your maternity leave application a few weeks before the start of your leave. You will want to give your employer enough time to make arrangements and ensure that the company is not affected by your absence. The common practice is to go on leave two weeks before your due date so you can have enough time to prepare for the birth of your child. How do I claim my SSS maternity benefits?
You may claim your SSS maternity benefits directly from your employer in full within 30 calendar days from the filing of your maternity leave application. Your employer is required to pay the amount of the claim in advance, subject to reimbursement by the SSS.
You also need to submit other documents such as:
* SSS Form MAT-1 and MAT-2
* your child’s birth certificate
* operating room records for cesarean delivery
* obstetrical history in cases of miscarriage or abortion
* your SSS I.D.