What are your work leaves and how should you use them?

Michaela Andrea
PUBLISHED March 8, 2018 04:37 pm
Photo by Ishan on unsplash

(Inside Manila) The everyday life of Filipino employees is becoming more taxing and challenging, especially to those who battle Metro Manila’s hideous traffic.  


If you want to have a “time-out” and if you are a first-time worker who aims to balance work and life, note that every Filipino employee is entitled to certain types of leaves.


These paid leaves are mandated by the government. Out of goodness, few generous companies give away extra leaves from responsibilities like advertising company Ideas X Machina’s Breakup leave.


Government-mandated Leave:


Service Incentive Leave:


Have you been with your company for a year? If so, you should be given a five-day Service Leave.


Under Article 95 of the Labor Code, employers to give their employees a yearly service incentive leave of five days with pay. This leave is granted to employees who have been in service within 12 months, “whether continuous or broken, calculated from the date the employee started working, including authorized absences and paid regular holidays.”


What’s good about this is it is commutable. It will be converted to cash if not used or exhausted at the end of the year.


What to do:


Weigh what you truly need. Do you need to save money or do you want to relax for a while? If you choose the latter, schedule your trip accordingly. Watch out for holidays and coordinate with your colleagues about your plan. You wouldn’t want to leave your team hanging with loads of responsibilities. As for the converted cash, save it for your future plans like a vacation abroad or graduate school fees.


Maternity Leave


Giving birth is one of the toughest feats women has to conquer. To give them time to heal and recover, new moms are given a 120-day Maternity Leave.


Just last March 6, the government had increased the said leave from 60 days (two months) to 120 days (four months).


A total of 30 days of this leave can be transferred to your husband, partner, and relatives up to the fourth degree of consanguinity.


However, only seven day worth of salary will be given during the duration of the leave. The members of the Social Security System, who have paid three monthly contributions in the 12-month period, will be paid equivalent to 100% of her average daily salary.


Even adoptive parents are covered by this leave. Single parents, meanwhile, are given additional 30 days leave. 


Uniliver Philippines is one of the few companies in the country who gives its employees a 150-day maternity leave.


What to do:


If used wisely, Maternity Leave can leave a positive impact on your newborn. Use the time to recover and to settle the needs of your child so you can face your work appropriately once your leave ends. You must also coordinate with your spouse and relatives and discuss how you will manage the four-month leave.


Paternity Leave


To all Dads, you can also avail a seven-day paternity leave. This leave is given to fathers so they can look after your growing family!


What to do:


This can only be given for the first four deliveries of your wife. This is non-cumulative and non-convertible so use it to aid your wife while she is recovering.


Parental or Solo Parents’ Leave


To moms who also play the role of dads or vice versa, as long as you have rendered one year of service to your company, note that you are entitled to a seven-day leave to spend time with your child.


What to do:


To secure this leave, head to Department of Social Welfare and Development and get a Solo Parent Identification Card. You should present this to your company’s Human Resource department for proper processing.


If you are still in a civil relationship with your ex-partner, talk to him/her on how you will divide your time with your child.


Leave for Victims of Violence Against Women and Their Children


This is the leave we wish nobody avails. But since we cannot escape harsh realities, women or their children who have experienced violence are entitled to a 10-day paid leave as mandated by Anti-Violence against Women and their Children Act.


What to do:


While this is a difficult and traumatic time for you, use this time to gain your strength. Ask for your relatives, friends, and the authorities’ help to seek justice.


Special Leave for Women


Women who underwent surgery due to gynecological disorders can use a 12-month leave to recover as introduced by The Magna Carta of Women. If you are experiencing this, you will receive the full payment, based on gross monthly compensation, as long as rendered continuous aggregate employment service of at least six months.


Voluntary Benefits:


Sick leave and vacation leave are not mandated by the government. However, most employers include these breaks in their company policy.


Some employers monitor these leave credits for payroll purposes.


Since we are not robots and since companies are kind enough to acknowledge that we need a break to perform better in our respective fields, here are the things that you must do to maximize the said voluntary benefits:


Sick Leave


As the name suggests, this leave is for the days you are not feeling well.


What to do:


Illness is unexpected. However, make sure to use your Sick Leave when you really can’t make it to your office due to an sickness. You wouldn’t want to spread a virus in the office, don’t you?


Vacation Leave


Are you overwhelmed by your workload? If you are feeling under the water, this is the perfect time to avail the Vacation Leave. 


What to do:


To avoid troubling the flow of your team’s daily routine, see to it that you have accomplished all your tasks before filing your leave. This is to  After that is settled, take your much-needed time to relax, unwind, and recharge.


If you can, detach from anything that reminds you of work such as your phone, paperwork, and e-mails.

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