Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday reminded employers to comply and recognize the seven-day paternity leave of would-be fathers working in the private sector.
“The seven-day paternity leave is mandated by R.A. 8187, or the Paternity Leave Act of 1996. Under the said law, male married workers are granted seven days leave with full pay so they could help in looking after their newborn child and take an active role in child-care tasks,” said Baldoz.
The labor and employment chief issued the reminder after Renan Obier, a 29 year old worker who is expecting his first child this October, inquired from the DOLE Call Center on how to avail of paternity leave from his employer.
According to action officer Melvin Pelinta of the DOLE S.M.I.L.E. (for Serbisyong Magalang, Mahusay na Impormasyon sa Labor and Employment), she received Obier’s query on how to avail of the said benefit. Pelinta, after getting the necessary information, immediately called up the latter’s agency, JJ Manpower Services and informed the human resource department on the provisions of R.A. 8187.
Obier, later told the DOLE Call Center that his manpower agency informed him that he may avail of the seven-day paternity leave with full pay on a staggered basis.
“This is not the first time that a caller’s inquiry has been promptly attended to by the DOLE Call Center,” said Secretary Baldoz upon learning of Mr. Obier’s query.
“Under R.A. 8187, married male employees, whether they be in the private and public sectors, shall be entitled to paternity leave, provided that it is for the first four deliveries or miscarriages of their respective legitimate spouses with whom they are cohabiting. Those who want to avail of this benefit must notify their respective employers of the pregnancy of their legitimate spouses and the expected date of such delivery,” she added.
The DOLE Call Center hotline is 527-8000.
Meanwhile, from 1 to 30 September 2015, the DOLE Call Center S.M.I.L.E. received a total of 4,912 calls, or an average of 189 calls per day. This means that there was an 11 percent increase compared to the 4,429 calls received in August 2015.
From the said number of calls, a total of 5,536 queries, or an average of 213 queries per day, were generated from DOLE clients. The said number of queries also marked a nine percent increase from the 5,216 queries generated from the previous month. The total number of queries generated were more than the number of total calls because a caller may have various queries on labor and employment issues.
Majority of the queries focused on social protection and welfare concerns numbering to 3,728, or 67 percent of the total queries. The said queries include 3,542 questions on the Department’s services to safeguard fair and just terms and conditions of employment. It is also comprised of requests for information on the DOLE’s work accidents/illness prevention programs. A great number of queries were on holiday pay rules for the 25 September (Eidl Adha) holiday, numbering to 1,169; separation/termination, 386; resignation, 258; probationary/regularization guidelines, 174; service incentive leave, 126; and availment of SSS, Pag-IBIG, and Phil-Health, 100.
Queries on labor relations reached 1,296, or 23 percent, of the calls for September 2015. These include the 515 complaints on nonpayment/underpayment of backwages, a 25 percent increase from the previous 411 complaints received for August.
Requests for information on the DOLE’s Employment Program totaled 354 or six percent calls during the reference period. Of these, 86 were for employment facilitation which include 65 queries on local jobs and 21 on overseas employment. About 118 queries were on alien employment permit (AEP), while 40 were on labor marker information.
The DOLE Call Center, known as SMILE for Serbisyong Magalang, Mahusay na Impormasyon sa Labor and Employment, is open Mondays to Saturdays from 6:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M. It has a complement of six composite staff from different DOLE Offices.