Magna Carta for Women

Dear Atty. Kathy,

I am a human resources officer in Company X. When the Covid-19 restrictions eased up in March 2022, our company hired Employee Y for crucial onsite work. Six months into Employee Y’s employment, she had to undergo a total hysterectomy. Upon the advice of her doctor, Employee Y is applying for the special leave benefit for women, under the Magna Carta for Women, since her recovery period would take 60 days. Is Employee Y entitled to the special leave benefit?

Asher

***

Dear Asher,

Republic Act 9710, Section 18 on Special Leave Benefits for Women, provides that a woman employee having rendered continuous aggregate service of at least six months for the last 12 months shall be entitled to a special leave benefit of two 2 months with full pay based on her gross monthly compensation following surgery caused by gynecological disorders.

Department of Labor and Employment Department Order 112-11, Series of 2011, provides that the female employee shall be entitled to the special leave, provided she has complied with the following conditions:

a) She has rendered at least six (6) months continuous aggregate employment service for the 12 months prior to surgery;

b) She has filed an application for special leave; and

c) She has undergone surgery due to gynecological disorders as certified by a competent physician. (Section 2)

DoLE D.O. 112-A, Series of 2012, further provides that “At least six months continuous aggregate employment service for the last 12 months prior to surgery” means that the woman employee should have been with the company for 12 months, prior to surgery. An aggregate service of at least six months within the said 12-month period is sufficient to entitle her to avail of the special leave benefit (Section 1). The foregoing conditions are reiterated in the DoLE Handbook Workers’ Statutory Monetary Benefits, 2022 Edition.

Based on your narration, Employee Y started with the company in March 2022 only, and the surgery was done six months into her employment, or sometime in September 2022. Thus, before the surgery, Employee Y has been with the company for only around 6 months. Employee Y, therefore, is not entitled to the benefit, since the law and rules require that the employee should have been with the company for 12 months prior to surgery to be entitled to the benefit. Your Company, however, may grant Employee Y other leave benefits under the law and under company policies.

Atty. Kathy Larios


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