• Not Every Soon-to-Be Dad Is Eligible for Paternity Leave
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  • We know what you're thinking. Seven days of paternity leave isn't enough, and you're right. So, until new dads are granted more days off from work, it's a work leave we highly recommend a father to take (and, mom, you will need his help).

    Here's everything you need to know about Republic Act No. 8187, or the Paternity Leave Act of 1996:

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    Who are eligible to avail of the seven-day paternity leave?
    The paternity leave applies to men who are employed in the government and private companies as long as he meets the following criteria: 

    1. He has to be legally married to his wife.
    2. He and his wife are living under one roof. The law explicitly says they need to be cohabitating to avail of the benefit. 
    3. His wife is giving birth or had suffered a miscarriage. 
    4. He and his wife are welcoming their first, second, third, or fourth child, or his wife has not had a miscarriage more than four times. Similar to the maternity leave benefit, paternity leave is only provided for the first four pregnancies or miscarriages.
    5. He has notified his employers of his wife's pregnancy, as soon as he learns that his spouse is pregnant or within a reasonable period before she's due to deliver the child. (This condition does not apply in cases of miscarriage.)

    Would an email suffice as notification for his employer? 
    According to the impementing rules and regulations, employers should provide a Paternity Notification Form. Your husband should submit this accomplished form together with a copy of your marriage contract or any proof of marriage before your due date. The law does not specify how much time lead time, but whether that's a week or a month, it would depend on the company's rules and regulations. Again, if you had suffered a miscarriage, you'd need to submit a notification of pregnancy. 

    Your husband would also be required to submit a copy of the birth certificate of your newborn child or death or medical certificate in case of miscarriage. These proof of delivery or death should show the actual date of birth or miscarriage and signed by your attending physician or midwife.

    Are there other benefits that my partner will receive?
    Your partner is granted seven working days with full pay, including basic salary, allowances, and other monetary benefits. Under the law, that's basically it—time off work so he can help you care for your newborn child or recover from the miscarriage. Check with your company if it has other new-parent benefits to offer. 

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    What if my husband couldn't get off from work on my due date? 
    Your husband can avail of the leave benefit as a continuous leave immediately before, during, and after his child's birth or his or wife's miscarriage, or in irregular intervals within 60 days after his child's date of birth as long as the total number of leaves days does not exceed seven days. 

    The paternity leave cannot be converted into cash benefit. The leave credits are also noncumulative, meaning seven days of paternity leave for the first child cannot be carried over for when you welcome your second baby. 

    Can my husband advance his paternity leave with pay?
    Note that under the law the paternity leave is not the same as the maternity benefit. It is not filed with the Social Security System (SSS) but with your husband's employer. The money your husband will get is not a loan but it is payment for your husband's absence from work as if he is present. He'll receive it on the next payday after taking his paternity leave days.

    You would have to check with your company's rules and regulations if they would allow him to advance the pay he would have received when he takes his paternity leave. It would be similar to advancing his salary, as it is not an added compensation or benefit. 

    My husband's company says they don't offer this. What can we do?  
    Write the company and state your case. If it's still firm in denying your case, you may file a complaint in the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Your husband's employer has no right to deny an employee of his right to a paternity leave so long as he has met all qualifications. Employers who do violate the law are subject to a fine not exceeding P25,000 or imprisonment of not less than 30 days nor more than six months.  

    The proposed Expanded Maternity Leave, if enacted into law, will allows new dads to spend more time caring for theie newborns and helping their wives go through her fourth trimester. It seeks to provide more leave with pay to a new mother and a number of leave days would be transferable to her husband and other caregivers. Other  lawmakers had also already proposed separate bills that seek to extend the paternity leave days of fathers. 

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