EDITORIAL!

Im­pact of the ex­panded ma­ter­nity leave

Sun.Star Pampanga - - TOPSTORIES! -

MOTH­ERS now will be able to spend more time with their new­borns fol­low­ing the sign­ing of the Ex­panded Ma­ter­nity Leave Law.

The law in­creases the ma­ter­nity leave pe­riod to 105 days to fe­male work­ers, with an op­tion to ex­tend for an ad­di­tional 30 days with­out pay. It also grants an ad­di­tional 15 days for solo mother s.

Many women’s groups lauded the sign­ing of the law while DOH Sec­re­tary Francisco Duque III said the law will ben­e­fit new­borns and in­fants.

“When the first 1,000 days of life of an in­fant are en­sured through proper health and nu­tri­tion in­ter­ven­tions, far­reach­ing ef­fects oc­cur on chil­dren’s abil­ity to grow and learn, thus giv­ing them a fight­ing chance at ris­ing out of poverty,” said Duque.

While it is good for moth­ers and the baby, the law might give com­pa­nies and firms sec­ond thoughts on hir­ing mar­ried women, es­pe­cially those who just got mar­ried and start­ing to build fam­i­lies.

The big­gest chal­lenge for com­pa­nies is how they can en­sure that the func­tions of the preg­nant woman who is set to take a leave will be taken over. The com­pany has to en­sure that her func­tions are prop­erly del­e­gated to the team mem­bers. Clearly the law will have an im­pact on the op­er­a­tional struc­ture of a com­pany.

To pre­vent such dis­crim­i­na­tion, com­pa­nies should now adapt to the law and put in place mea­sures that will al­low the smooth flow of op­er­a­tions of the com­pany.

Also, prob­a­bly not all moth­ers want to take a leave that long. We have heard of sto­ries of some moms want­ing to go back to work after a month or two. Maybe com­pa­nies can start dig­i­tiz­ing cer­tain jobs to al­low flex­i­bil­ity in the work­place and al­low preg­nant women who want to get back to work to do their job re­motely.

The De­part­ment of La­bor and Em­ploy­ment (Dole) is set to start with the craft­ing of the im­ple­ment­ing rules and reg­u­la­tions (IRR) of the Ex­panded Ma­ter­nity Leave Law.

We hope that they will in­clude in the IRR pro­vi­sions that will pro­vide some sort of flex­i­bil­ity for the preg­nant woman. For ex­am­ple, split­ting the use of the 105 days. She can opt to use por­tions of the leave dur­ing the cru­cial months of preg­nancy and the re­main­ing dur­ing the time she gives birth un­til she is able to come back to work.

An­other is a pro­vi­sion that will al­low women to choose whether or not they will com­plete the 105 days.

Whether the law will cre­ate a bet­ter work­ing en­vi­ron­ment for women or not, we have yet to see it in the com­ing years. How­ever, an IRR that is well crafted and have in­puts from the moth­ers them­selves, could pos­si­bly pre­vent any dis­crim­i­na­tion from hap­pen­ing.— Sun­nex

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