I am a single mom and I’ve applied for a solo parent ID, which I now have. I work in the BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) industry and I’ve been with the company for almost two years now. As a regular employee, I am entitled to 20 PTO (Paid Time Off) Credits, which covers planned, unplanned, emergency and bereavement leaves. Could I claim the 7-day solo parent leave on top of this?
My problem is that it is always very difficult to file for a solo parent leave where I work. Our company has a policy that states that only 2 persons can file for a leave per day, and my manager told me that my solo parent leave will only be approved IF AND ONLY IF nobody filed leaves for the same date before me. Is this practice lawful?
Hi Mommy Beth! I am glad you asked that question. Republic Act 8972, or the Solo Parent Act, was created for the protection and benefit of single parents. However, not a lot of people are aware of this law and the benefits it provides.
One of these benefits is the "Solo Parent Leave”, which gives single parents an additional seven (7) days leave, on top of any leave benefit that they are already enjoying under the law or under their existing employment contract. So yes, the seven day Solo Parent Leave should be given in addition to the number of allowable leaves you are already currently enjoying.
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As for the company’s requirement that the Solo Parent Leave “will only be approved, IF AND ONLY IF nobody filed leaves for the same dates before you did,” is not a valid condition that the company can compel you to comply with. The Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 8972 clearly provide only three conditions in order to be entitled to the Solo Parent Leave:
a) He/She has rendered at least one (1) year of service whether continuous or broken;
b) He/She has notified his/her employer of the availment thereof within a reasonable time period; and
c) He/She has presented a Solo Parent Identification Card to his/her employer.
Your employer cannot add a fourth requirement beyond that provided by the law; otherwise, you will be unfairly deprived of your rights. Speak to your company’s management or HR Department again and explain to them that the single parents in your company are still entitled to the additional seven day leave under the Solo Parents Act, on top of the existing leave benefits you are already receiving. If they refuse to implement it, then you can seek assistance from the Public Assistance and Complaints Unit (PACU) of the DOLE. The PACU will help you file a complaint and/or call you and your employer to a mediation/conciliation conference so that you can come to an agreement. If your employer still does not follow the law, the PACU will endorse your complaint to the National Labor Relations Commission.