Becoming a parent is a big decision. Some dream of becoming a parent, while some don’t really want to. As part of HR, it’s important to know how you can support those who want to take this big step in their lives. One support is in the form of maternity leaves. And in fact, just last month, the Republic Act (RA) 11210, an act for expanded maternity leave, was signed.

Why should you care about the expanded maternity leave

Conditions previously followed by organizations for maternity leaves are under the Republic Act (RA) 7322. What changes can you expect with the signed expanded maternity leave?

With this law, the following changes:

  • From the current 60 days, paid maternity leaves extends to 105 days.
  • An option to extend the maternity leave for 30 days without pay.
  • Solo parents get an additional 15 days.

As an HR personnel, it’s essential to know that aside from supporting parents, maternity leaves also:

Support women’s rights

It’s crucial to support women in the workplace, especially mothers. Did you know that in the US, discrimination against mothers is still rampant, even in their biggest companies? Reported cases of this discrimination in the Philippines are few, but it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen.

Help with mental health

While workplaces usually conduct annual physical exams (APEs), employees’ mental health is something that shouldn’t be ignored. Many mothers suffer from “baby blues” and an even more serious problem—postpartum depression. Studies have found that maternity leaves have a positive impact on the mental health of mothers. A study even found out that “women who are taking less than 12 weeks of maternal leave and taking less than 8 weeks of paid maternal leave are both associated with increased depressive symptoms, and taking less than 8 weeks of paid leave is associated with worse overall health”.

Help with retention of working women

While not all women want to be mothers, it’s still necessary for them to know that your organization supports their decision to be one. High employee turnover is definitely costly, that’s why a lot of companies put a heavy weight on employee retention. With maternity leaves, you’re directly investing in the retention of working mothers in your organization.

With the new law for maternity leaves, it’s time to update your organization’s policies about it!