If expectant mothers can enjoy the maternity benefits, fathers can also take advantage of the paternity benefits. However, the benefits are limited as compared to the maternity benefits.
As a father, you have the right to know how you will qualify for the paternity leave and the benefits involved.
Paternity Leave Act of 1996
Paternity Leave Act of 1996 is derived from the Republic Act No. 8187. According to this law, paternity leave is granted to all married male employees both in the public and private sector. The paternity leave allows a father to enjoy the 7 days leave from work with full pay. This benefit can be availed up to 4th delivery of the legitimate wife.
Who qualifies for the Paternity Leave?
As mandated by the law, a father can avail the paternity leave as long as he meets the required criteria as follows:
- Currently employed either in a private or government company
- Legally married to the wife
- If the wife gave birth either normal or CS delivery, or experienced miscarriage
- If the born child is within the maximum of 4 deliveries
- If the couple is living together
- Must submit the paternity notification form to the employer
Basic requirements for Paternity Benefits
If you want to avail the paternity leave benefits, then you should prepare the following requirements:
- Notification of pregnancy
- Paternity notification form (must be submitted prior to the schedule of delivery)
- Proof of marriage such as marriage contract
- Birth certificate of the child (must have the affixed signature of the attending midwife or physician)
In case of miscarriage, a copy of the medical certificate or death signature signed by the attending physician.
Once you qualify for paternity benefit, you are allowed to leave from work for seven working days with full pay. This means that while you’re not reporting for work, you can still receive all the monetary benefits such as the basic salary and allowances. Be reminded that the paternity leave should be filed with your employer and not with the SSS.
However, the paternity leave benefit is not convertible to cash. Likewise, it is non-cumulative. If you did not avail of the benefits of the first child, it is not carried over to your second child. You will receive the paternity leave compensation on the succeeding payday.
The main objective of paternity leave is to allow the father to help his wife in caring for the newborn child. In case the employer does not grant your request in spite of complete requirements, you can file a complaint with DOLE.