Single parents may be alone in raising their children, but Philippine Labor law provides some relief for them in the Parental Leave for Solo Parents Act.
“Parental leave” under this law refers to leave benefits granted to a solo parent to enable him/her to perform parental duties and responsibilities where physical presence is required.
Who may avail of this benefit:
Any solo parent or individual who is left alone with the responsibility of parenthood due to:
1. Giving birth as a result of rape or, as used by the law, other
crimes against chastity;
2. Death of spouse;
3. Spouse is detained or is serving sentence for a criminal
conviction for at least one (1) year;
4. Physical and/or mental incapacity of spouse as certified by a
public medical practitioner;
5. Legal separation or de facto separation from spouse for at least one (1) year: Provided that he/she is entrusted with the custody of the children;
6. Declaration of nullity or annulment of marriage as decreed by a court or by a church: Provided, that he/she is entrusted with the custody of the children;
7. Abandonment of spouse for at least one (1) year;
8. Unmarried father/mother who has preferred to keep and rear his/her child/children, instead of having others care for them or give them up to a welfare institution;
9. Any other person who solely provides parental care and support to a child or children: Provided, that he/she is duly licensed as a foster parent by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) or duly appointed legal guardian by the court; and
10. Any family member who assumes the responsibility of head of family as a result of the death, abandonment, disappearance, or prolonged absence of the parents or solo parent: Provided, that such abandonment, disappearance, or prolonged absence lasts for at least one (1) year.
The Parental Leave Benefit: The parental leave is an additional benefit which shall be for seven (7) working days every year, with full pay, consisting of basic salary and mandatory allowances.
Conditions for Entitlement
A solo parent employee shall be entitled to the parental leave under the following conditions:
1. He/she has rendered at least one (1) year of service, whether continuous or broken;
2. He/she has notified his/her employer that he/she will avail himself/herself of it, within a reasonable period of time; and
3. He/she has presented to his/her employer a Solo Parent Identification Card, which may be obtained from the DSWD office of the city or municipality where he/she resides.
Other important notes:
- This benefit is not convertible to cash if not availed of by the employee.
- Emergency or contingency leave provided under a company policy or a collective bargaining agreement shall not be credited as compliance with the parental leave provided for under RA 8972.
- A change in the status or circumstance of the parent claiming the benefit under the law, such that he/she is no longer left alone with the responsibility of parenthood, shall terminate his/her eligibility for this benefit.