Expecting a baby soon? Your role as a father is crucial from the moment you learn about your wife’s pregnancy, more so during and after childbirth. On top of working hard to provide for your new family, you have to give her your time and support every step of the way.
That’s why as a dad-to-be, you deserve to know the paternity benefits in the Philippines. Here are the questions soon-to-be dads usually ask about paternity benefits, specifically paternity leave in the Philippines, and their corresponding answers.
What Paternity Benefits in the Philippines Can I Claim?
Let’s set your expectations straight: Paternity benefits differ a lot from PhilHealth and SSS maternity benefits. For one, these government agencies don’t provide SSS paternity benefits or SSS paternity leaves specifically for expectant fathers.
Also, the Philippine Labor Code provides maternity leave benefits only—it doesn’t mention anything about paternity benefits. However, there are laws that grant paternity leave benefits: the Paternity Leave Act of 1996 or Republic Act 8187 and the Allocation of Maternity Leave Credits under Section 6 of Republic Act 11210.
Related reading: Ready for a Baby? Check This Newborn Checklist in the Philippines
👉 The Paternity Leave Law
Under RA 8187, male private and government employees in the Philippines are entitled to seven days of paternity leave with full pay. They should receive their basic salary, allowances, and other monetary benefits for those days.
Paternity leave allows fathers to care for their newborn and wife after giving birth or help their partner recover after a miscarriage or abortion.
That’s all you can expect to receive—nothing more, nothing less—except if you’re working for a company that offers a paid paternity leave that’s longer than the government-mandated leave.
👉 Transfer of Maternity Leave Credits
The paternity leave law allows only seven days of paid leave with full pay. But that’s really not enough, considering that recovering from childbirth requires weeks, even months. Your wife needs more assistance during this time.
But you can opt to work around your wife’s maternity leave.
The 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law under RA11210 has increased the maternity leave period to 105 days with full pay for female workers in private and government sectors. They can extend their leave to an additional 30 days without pay, whereas solo mothers who are eligible by law are granted an additional paid 15 days.
So, where does paternity leave come in? Under RA 11220 Section 6, you can get an extended leave provided that your wife is a private sector employee who avails of the maternity leave transfer. Since your wife is entitled to 105 days of leave with full pay, she can transfer seven days of leave credits to you, leaving her with only 98 days.
Note that you must be currently employed to avail of this benefit.
How Many Days is Paternity Leave in the Philippines in 2023?
The total number of days in paternity leave you can get is 14 days, provided that you avail of the transfer of leave credits from your spouse. The seven days of paid leave is under the provision of the Paternity Leave Law, and the additional seven days is optional under the Expanded Maternity Leave.
In February 2023, House Bill No. 4430, an act proposing extended paternity leave, was filed. Should this become a law, paid paternity leave will be extended from seven days to 30 days, regardless of the father's employment status. The bill also seeks to cover unmarried working fathers living with the mother of their baby.
Who is Eligible for Paternity Leave?
“Am I entitled to paternity leave if I’m not married to my partner?” “Can I file a paternity leave if I’m not living with my wife?”
Sadly, the answer to both questions is no. The paternity leave is valid only to male private and government employees who are married and living with their partners.
However, under the 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law, the mother can avail of the transfer of leave credits to you even if you’re not legally married.
📌 Paternity Leave Requirements
You can avail of paternity leave benefits if you meet these conditions:
- Employed at the time of childbirth, regardless of employment status (regular, probationary, casual, seasonal, fixed-term)
- Legally married to and living with a wife who’s pregnant, has given birth, or has had a miscarriage
- The pregnancy, childbirth, or miscarriage has not happened more than four times
- Must properly notify your employer within a reasonable time of your wife’s pregnancy and the expected delivery date (Not required for cases of miscarriage)
How to Apply for Paternity Leave in the Philippines
Unlike maternity leave benefits, paternity leave isn’t filed with the SSS but with the employer. Here are the general steps to file for paternity leave benefits as soon as you discover that your wife is pregnant:
- Notify your HR department about the pregnancy and the expected due date.
- Fill out a Paternity Notification Form provided by your employer.
- Submit the accomplished form along with a copy of your marriage certificate to HR. Your employer may also require photocopies of your wife’s ultrasound results and other medical records as proof of pregnancy.
- If you’re availing of the additional seven-day leave, prepare the SSS paternity leave requirements by submitting the completed SSS Allocation of Maternity Leave Credits form and the Maternity Notification form.
After you’ve availed of your paternity benefits, you’ll also need to submit a copy of your newborn’s birth certificate within a reasonable period. In case of a miscarriage or abortion, submit a medical or death certificate.
Each employer may have different policies for filing a paternity leave. It’s best to check with the HR office about the specific steps to take.
For your convenience, get a copy of your marriage certificate and your baby’s birth certificate or death certificate through the NSO online service. You won’t have to personally visit an NSO or PSA branch, and you’ll receive your requested documents in your home or office within two to 13 working days.
📅 When Can I File a Paternity Leave?
Would-be fathers can take their paternity leave before, during, and after their wife gives birth. The total number of days off shouldn’t exceed seven working days for each delivery. For example, you can take a two-day leave before your wife’s due date, one day during her delivery, and four days after childbirth.
The Paternity Leave Act, however, allows you to take the leave only within 60 days after the child's delivery date. If you file for the 14-day paternity leave, ensure you have proper documentation for the transfer of maternity leave credits.
Related reading: 6 Important Things Our Dads Taught Us About Money
Important Things to Note about Paternity Benefits in the Philippines
- Not all paternity benefits are the same. Make sure to ask your employer about them as early as possible, so you and your spouse can plan ahead.
- If your company already has paternity benefits and they’re more favorable to you (as an employee), then they may supersede the government-mandated benefits.
- Even if you’re a new employee in your company, you’re eligible for the paternity leave benefit. As long as you’re currently working and have complete documentation, you can enjoy the paternity benefit.
- The paternity leave for seven calendar days with full pay includes the basic salary and mandatory allowances fixed by the Regional Wage Board according to the DOLE Handbook on Workers Statutory Monetary Benefits.
Why Should You Take Paternity Leave?
Becoming a father is one of the most rewarding things in this world. You truly don’t want to miss all the firsts with your child. This is why taking paternity leave is a must.
Here are more reasons:
✔️ Form a Bond With Your Baby
The first few months after a baby is born are crucial for both mother and child. But it's also an important time for fathers. Paternity leave gives dads the opportunity to form a strong bond with their baby from the very beginning.
Studies have shown that fathers who take paternity leave are more likely to be involved in their child's life later on. Paternity leave has positive effects on the mental and physical health of both fathers and children.
✔️ Take Care of Your Partner
New fathers often feel like they’re in uncharted territory after their child is born. You may be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of how to best support your partner.
By taking some time off from work, you can learn how to bond with your child and help your partner adjust to motherhood. You can change diapers and soothe the infant when they're fussy.
In addition, you can take on some of the household duties so your partner can rest and recover from childbirth. This can help reduce stress, promote equality in the home, and make the transition to parenthood a little easier for you both.
✔️ Helps Reduce Your Risk of Postpartum Depression
The first few weeks after a baby is born are vital for bonding and establishing a healthy relationship. Unfortunately, this is also a time when many fathers feel left out and overwhelmed. As a result, some fathers may experience postpartum depression.
By giving fathers the time and space to bond with their babies, paternity leave can help reduce the risk of postpartum depression. In addition, fathers can develop a support network of other parents.
Ultimately, paternity leave can help create a stronger family unit and promote the health and well-being of both parents and children.
It’s also good for businesses. Employees who feel supported by their employers are more likely to be productive and engaged in their work. Offering paternity leave is a win-win for both employers and employees.
FAQs on Paternity Benefits in the Philippines
1. Is paternity leave only for married couples?
Under the Paternity Leave Law, you must be legally married and cohabitating with your spouse to be eligible for seven days of paternity leave. However, for the transfer of leave credits, your partner can transfer them to you whether legally married or not.
2. Are there paternity benefits in SSS?
There are no direct paternity benefits in SSS. But as mentioned, you can transfer maternity leave credits. Make sure that you have all the requirements and documentation.
3. Does paternity leave cover miscarriage?
Yes, it does. Whether it’s a live birth, normal delivery, cesarean, or miscarriage, you’re entitled to paternity leave. Just ensure to have all the proper documentation and requirements, and then discuss this with your HR team.
4. Is paternity leave convertible to cash?
Unlike other types of paid leaves, any unused paternity leave credits can’t be converted to cash. Also, you can’t carry over any unused leave credits to your wife’s next pregnancy.
Use all your seven days of paid leave to make the most of your time off with your wife and newborn.
5. What if an employer refuses to give paternity benefits?
Talk to your HR or write a letter to state your case. You have the right to enjoy paternity leave, as long as you meet all the conditions under the law.
If your employer still denies your paternity benefits claim, you may file a complaint with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) through its 24/7 call center hotline: 1349.
According to the Paternity Leave Act, companies that violate the law should pay a fine of not more than ₱25,000 or be jailed for at least 30 days up to six months.
Related reading: 13 Benefits You Didn’t Know You Could Get with Your Solo Parent ID
No matter how insignificant they seem, paternity benefits can help you fulfill your role better as a new father.
As more and more fathers take advantage of their right to paternity leave, hopefully, more employers will start offering paternity benefits in the Philippines voluntarily. After all, taking time off is important not only for you but also for the mother and the baby.
-  Labor Code of the Philippines
-  Philippine Republic Act No. 8187
-  Republic Act No. 11210
-  House bill seeks paternity leave extension (Inquirer, 2023)
-  SSS Allocation of Maternity Leave Credits Form
-  Maternity Notification
-  DOLE Handbook on Workers Statutory Monetary Benefits
-  A fresh look at paternity leave: Why the benefits extend beyond the personal (McKinsey, March 2021)