Paternity leave

Dear Atty. Chris Liquigan,

I am a first-time father and my friend told me that a certain “paternity leave” exists. My baby is due in three months and I’d like to be enlightened on this, so I could file for it if the company allows. Thank you, Atty., and God Bless!


Dear Nate,

According to Republic Act 8187, or the “Paternity Leave Act of 1996,” paternity leave is a special benefit afforded to men working in the private and public sectors. They are granted seven days leave with full pay to allow them to aid their respective spouses in caring for themselves and their newborns.

To be granted such benefit, the claimant must be a married male employee at the time of the delivery of his child; it is his legal spouse who has given birth, or has suffered a miscarriage; he and his legal spouse are cohabiting with each other at the time the latter gave birth or suffered a miscarriage; the claims can be made within the first four deliveries of his legitimate spouse; and he has given adequate notice to his employer. This is in consonance with Section 2 of RA 8187, which explicitly states:

“SECTION 2. Notwithstanding any law, rules, and regulations to the contrary, every married male employee in the private and public sectors shall be entitled to a paternity leave of seven days with full pay for the first four deliveries of the legitimate spouse with whom he is cohabiting. The male employee applying for paternity leave shall notify his employer of the pregnancy of his legitimate spouse and the expected date of such delivery.”

To expound on the requirement of notice to the employer, Section 4 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 8187 provides:

“SECTION 4. Notification. — As soon as the married male employee learns that his spouse is pregnant, he shall inform his employer of such pregnancy and the expected date of delivery within a reasonable period of time. The employee shall accomplish a Paternity Notification Form to be provided for by the employer and submit the same to the latter, together with a copy of his marriage contract, or where not applicable, any proof of marriage. Provided, That this notification requirement shall not apply in cases of miscarriage or abortion.”

“Any employee who has availed of the paternity benefits shall, within a reasonable period of time, submit a copy of the birth certificate of the newly born child, death or medical certificate in case of miscarriage or abortion, duly signed by the attending physician or midwife showing actual date of childbirth, miscarriage or abortion, as the case may be.”

Moreover, Sections 5 and 7, IRR of RA 8187 state that the seven-day leave may be enjoyed by the qualified male employee before, during or after the delivery by his wife. However, this benefit can only be availed of not later than 60 days after the delivery date and the same is not convertible to cash.
Hope this helps.

Atty. Chris Liquigan

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