Most Filipinos know women’s right to maternity leave under the law, whether working in the private or government sector. However, few, especially working males, know about paternity leave. Working husbands or fathers are covered under the law by the Paternity Leave Act of 1996 (R.A. 8187). The law provides that a married male employee or worker is entitled to seven days’ leave with pay when his wife gives birth. The law also covers the same leave even if the wife suffers a miscarriage. A male employee or worker can file for an SSS Paternity Leave in the private sector.
Paternity Leave SSS Benefits
Firstly, there are no paternity benefits similar to the maternity benefits provided by SSS and PhilHealth. Under the Paternity Leave Act, male private and government employees or workers are entitled to seven days of paternity leave with full pay, including basic salary, allowances, and other monetary benefits for those days on vacation.
Paternity leave allows fathers to be with their wives when they give birth and afterward to help care for their newborn child. Or if the wife undergoes a miscarriage or abortion, the husband can be present to aid in recovery.
This is all the paternity leave benefits any male employee or worker is entitled to. There are no paid or hospital credit benefits similar to maternity leave. However, some companies offer paid paternity leave that is separate from the government-mandated use.
Allocation of Maternity Leave Credits to Extend Paternity Leave
Under the Paternity Leave Law, male employees or workers are only allotted seven days of paid leave. However, this can be extended to an additional seven days (14 days) under section 6 of R.A. 11210. Under the Expanded Maternity Leave Law (R.A. 11210), the maternity leave period is now up to 105 days with full pay for female employees or workers in both the private and government sectors. So, as stated in Section 6, the wife can transfer seven days of leave credits to the husband. This still leaves the wife with 98 days of leave credits to use.
Paternity Leave Eligibility
It must be noted that only legally married males living with their spouse and presently employed in the private or government sectors are eligible for paternity leave.
However, under the Expanded Maternity Leave Law, the mother can transfer leave credits up to seven days to her male partner even if unmarried.
SSS Paternity Leave Requirements
To apply for the SSS paternity leave, the following conditions must be met:
- The male employee or worker must be presently employed, regardless of status, whether regular, probationary, casual, seasonal, or fixed-term.
- A male employee or worker must be employed at the time of birth.
- The wife is pregnant and about to give birth, has given birth, or has had a miscarriage or abortion.
- The pregnancy, childbirth, or miscarriage/abortion has not happened more than four times.
- Both males and females are legally married and live under one roof.
- Male employees/workers must properly notify the employer within a reasonable time of the wife’s pregnancy and expected delivery date (Note: This is not required for cases of miscarriage or abortion).
When and How to File for SSS Paternity Leave
Male employees can file for their SSS paternity leave before, during, or after their wife gives birth. At most, the total days off should be seven working days for each child’s delivery. If the husband files for the 14-day paternity leave, he must ensure proper documentation for transferring maternity leave credits.
Again, note that paternity leave is not filed with the SSS but with the present employer, unlike maternity leave.
- Notify the H.R. department or head of the wife’s pregnancy and expected due date.
- Fill out a Paternity Notification Form provided by the employer.
- Submit the accomplished form and a copy of your marriage certificate. Some employers may require a photocopy of the wife’s ultrasound results or other medical records as proof of pregnancy.
- If the husband is availing of the additional SSS paternity benefits transfer leave credits of 7 days from the wife’s maternity benefits, make sure to submit the completed SSS Allocation of Maternity Leave Credits form and Maternity Notification form.
- After availing of paternity leave, you may be required to submit a copy of your newborn’s birth certificate. In cases of miscarriage or abortion, submit a death or medical certificate.
- Some employers in the private sector may have a different policy for filing a paternity leave. Make sure to check with the H.R. department about this.
- For added convenience, get an advanced copy of your marriage certificate from the PSA online service. You can do the same when obtaining your child’s birth or death certificates. Using the PSA online service means you don’t need to personally visit a Philippine Statistics Authority branch. All requested documents will be sent by mail or courier within 2 to 13 working days.
Some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why should I take paternity leave?
A paternity leave allows fathers to form an early strong bond with their babies. Studies have shown that fathers involved from birth to early childcare are more likely to be involved in their child’s life later on, share in childcare duties often, and reduce stress for both spouses. The husband’s presence, even after childbirth, gives the wife time to rest and recover and prevents postpartum depression in both parties.
Can I avail of paternity leave even if my wife and I are unmarried?
No. Under the Paternity Leave Law, both husband and wife must be legally married and cohabiting for the husband to be eligible for paternity leave.
Are there other benefits to paternity leave?
The only SSS paternity leave benefit for the husband is the 7-day leave credits. There are no monetary or hospital benefits for the husband. He can take advantage of the transfer leave credits of up to 7 days from the wife’s maternity leave benefits.
Is paternity leave convertible to cash?
No. Unused paternity leave credits cannot be converted to cash. Also, unused paternity leave credits cannot be transferred to the wife’s subsequent pregnancy.
What happens if an employer refuses to give paternity leave?
Under the law, fathers and husbands can enjoy paternity leave if all conditions are met. Suppose an employer denies a paternity benefit claim. In that case, the employee or worker can file a complaint with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) through the DOLE 24/7 call center hotline at 1349.
Under the Paternity Leave Act, an employer or company that violates this law will be made to pay a fine of not more than P25,000 or be jailed for at least 30 days or up to six months.
Can I take paternity leave even if I’m a new employee?
Yes. All employees are eligible for paternity leave regardless of employment status as long as they are employed and working.
Can I avail myself of my company’s paternity leave benefits instead of from SSS?
Some private companies offer paternity benefits more favorable to their employees than government-mandated leave. Employees have the option to choose their company’s more favorable paternity benefits.
Being a working dad can be both rewarding and challenging. With the right resources and support, however, it doesn’t have to be an either/or choice between family life and professional life. That is why SSS paternity leave is such a fantastic resource for expecting fathers – not only does it provide you with extra time to spend with your growing family, and it prints out a financial security net while guaranteeing job security. We hope this blog post has helped shed some light on some of the questions you might have had regarding filing for SSS paternity leave. Taking paternity leave is undoubtedly an individual’s decision based on their circumstances.
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