As workers here in the Philippines, we are entitled to have vacation, sick, and emergency leaves. However, as per the Labor Code, our employer is the one to decide on how many leaves we will have. So, we are out their mercy because no specific number of days are said by them. Even though that’s the case, there are certain things in the labor code that employers look at as a skeletal structure or pattern on how to issue leaves to their employees. According to the code, a company must at least have five (5) Service Incentive Leaves (SILs) for employees who have been with them for at least a year.
For you to have an idea on what those are, you can visit the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) website for the terms and conditions of private company leaves. In addition to that, there are special cases of leaves given to certain types of people. These leaves require a certain condition or an occurrence in order for them to be allowed by both the government and the company. These leaves are:
The current paid leaves we know are:
- Maternity Leave – 60 Days for normal delivery and 78 days for caesarian delivery. Can be filed by pregnant employees either married or unmarried.
- Solo Parent Leave – 7 Days whether continuous or broken.
- Paternity Leave – 7 Days for married male employees.
- Special Leave for Women – 2 months. For women who had recently undergone surgery due to gynecological disorders and conditions.
- Victims of Violence Against Women and Children Leave – 10 Days for women who are victims of sexual, psychological, physical, and economic abuse.
- Yearly Service Incentive Leave – 5 Days for employees who have been with a company for at least one (1) full calendar year.
Other than these paid leaves, some companies have emergency leaves. These leaves can be used in the event that an emergency occurs. Still, the one who holds the number of leaves allowed in your employment are the employers themselves so it’s better to clarify and ask them first before you make your judgment.
So, given those figures, it’s clear that the number of days of our leaves will solely depend on your company’s discretion. Be sure to contact your Human Resources Management (HR) to have clarifications about these leaves and benefits.
However, just recently, Senator Joel Villanueva is pushing a bill that will increase the number of the yearly service incentive leave to 10 days. This 10-day paid leave will replace the current 5-day leave our government currently holds and will become a longer and much more useful time period for people who have personal concerns.
Senator Joel Villanueva pushed the Senate Bill No. 1614 or also known as “An Act Increasing Service Incentive Leave Pay of Employees.” This bill will grant employees an annual service leave incentive of 10 days. However, employees who have rendered service for at least one (1) calendar year are the ones eligible for this benefit.
The senator, who is the Chairman of Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development, made emphasis that the law we are observing now, which is under Article 95 of the Labor Code grants a service incentive leave of 5 (five) days for employees who have rendered at least twelve (12) months or one (1) full calendar year of service. In addition to that, this service incentive leave is also convertible to cash. So, the employees have the option to disregard using it for them to convert it into cash if it isn’t used at the end of the year.
However, if Senator Villanueva’s bill gets passed and the yearly service incentive leave increases to ten (10) days, it will no longer be commutable or convertible to cash if left unused. So, what they are doing is that they are trying to force employees to take a break off of work so that they don’t succumb to the stress that their working environment is giving them.
Villanueva is urging employees to practice and have a healthy work-life balance. In addition to that, he said that less problems will be made if this bill gets passed.
They will have less personal problems as they can spend more time to attend to their personal and family matters.”
However, the effectivity of the bill is kind of limited to corporations who employ a lot of employees. The bill will also not be applicable to employees who are given at least 10 days of paid vacation leave. Furthermore, establishments who only employ less than 10 people are also not part of the eligible branches who can take advantage of this new bill.
By this, we know that business and employers who employ ten (10) employees and above are the only ones who can take advantage of the bill. Plus, the bill hasn’t been approved yet so who knows? Maybe better and more useful numbers will replace the current bill that has been passed.
What can employers get out of this extended service incentive leave bill?
It’s not just the employees who will benefit from this bill, according to Villanueva. As a matter of fact, by this bill, employers and establishments can worry less about everyone in the company being stressed. Why? Because the 10-day paid leave can accommodate to the personal problems and issues of employees. The employees will be happier so, they will be more motivated to go to work.
I always say that happy employees will mean committed, productive, loyal employees. A contented employee is a committed employee who works efficiently to the employer’s profit.”
Senator Villanueva also said that this bill will help foster and promote family bondings and relationship. This will be a positive note to the society because of the happiness it will bring both employees and employers.
We submit that Senate Bill No. 1614 will help shape an economy that is harmonious with treasured Filipino values, most especially, strong family ties and a vibrant and happy community where there is positive regard for the well-being of our workers and their families.”
Currently, the status of this Senate bill is still pending. However, a substitute version of this bill has already been approved in the House of Representatives last August. So, there’s still hope that longer vacation leaves are just right around the corner.
I wouldn’t ask you whether or not this bill is good because it most definitely is. Hopefully, higher chairs approve this 10-day paid leave bill to promote a better and a more positive environment in work places. It’s going to be good and clearer for the economy and will be an overall strategic move in enhancing and improving our economy.