Friday, June 18, 2021

Maternity leave law to hit small firms

BETTER BENEFITS. While large companies can afford to hire temporary replacements for workers on leave, small firms may not. (SunStar photo / Arni Aclao)

THE expanded maternity leave law will help mothers in taking care of their newborn babies, but it would affect small and medium businesses, local business leaders said.

Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) President Consul Antonio Chiu said there is a possibility the law will lower the employment rate of women.

“The law seeks to protect and give additional benefit to mothers to prepare and take care of the newborn child. However, the extra benefits that this law provides might subject young women to be avoided during hiring because of the extra cost that the law provides for women, as against a male applicant,” Chiu said.

Republic Act 11210 or the 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law increases the maternity leave period to 105 days to female workers, with an option to extend for an additional 30 days without pay. It also grants an additional 15 days for solo mothers.

While conglomerates may have the capacity to hire temporary replacements for new mothers, small and medium businesses may not be able to do so.

“The impact will be felt, particularly in medium to small businesses,” Chiu added.

Virgilio Espeleta, CCCI’s vice president for business development and management services division, said there are advantages and disadvantages to the law.

“Mothers have to be there during the nursing period of their children. For entrepreneurs, it will truly be disruptive in terms of productivity. There has to be planning in behalf of the business because that’s more than three months that the employee will be away,” he said.

Business owners also raised the issue on productivity that may affect business operations.

“I think it would be a great advantage to moms like us because it gives us more time to spend with our baby, and that means we get closer to them since we are already given 105 days leave, knowing that it is the moment where babies needed most of our attention and affection,” she said. (JOB)


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