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Paternity leave benefit hike eyed

February 5, 2023 Jester P. Manalastas 332 views

A measure seeking to increase the fully paid paternity leave benefit of every working father has been filed in the House of Representatives.

In filing House Bill 4430, Quezon City Rep. Marvin Rillo underscored the need to expand the benefit coverage to include every unmarried working father living with the mother so long as the couple are free to wed.

Rillo proposes to increase the fully paid paternity leave benefit of every working father to 30 days so that he can effectively lend support to the mother and their newborn during childbirth.

Under the measure, the month-long paternity leave credit with full pay would also cover every unmarried working father living with the mother, provided that there is no legal impediment for them to wed.

“We should not discriminate against the unmarried working father in the grant of paid paternity leave credits, so long as he is living with the mother and the couple are free to marry or stay together,” Rillo said.

At present, the Paternity Leave Law of 1996 provides that “every married male employee in the private or public sectors shall be entitled to a paternity leave of seven days with full pay for the first four deliveries (childbirth or miscarriage) of the legitimate spouse with whom he is cohabiting.”

Besides upgrading the seven days to “30 working days,” the bill expressly provides that all working fathers “regardless of their employment status” would enjoy the paternity leave credit.

Under the Expanded Maternity Leave Law of 2019, a mother may also allocate up to seven days of her 105-day fully paid maternity leave credit to the child’s father, without discrimination as to his marital status with the newborn’s mother.