How do we compute paternity leave when it falls on a holiday? Does the seven-day paternity leave includes holiday/special holiday/Sunday or do we have to count only the regular working days?
Dear Ms. Joy,
Paternity leave is a privilege given to a male employee enabling him to earn compensation even if he does not report for work in cases where his legal wife with whom he is cohabiting gives birth to a child or suffers miscarriage. This benefit is granted under Republic Act (R.A.) No. 8187 or the Paternity Leave Act of 1996. Section 2 thereof provides:
“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 (7) days with full pay for the first four (4) 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.”
As defined, paternity leave refers to the benefits granted to a married male employee allowing him not to report for work for seven (7) days but continues to earn the compensation therefor, on the condition that his spouse has delivered a child or suffered a miscarriage for purposes of enabling him to effectively lend support to his wife in her period of recovery and/or in the nursing of the newly-born child (Section 3, Republic Act No. 8187).
Based on the above definition, it can be easily deduced that paternity leave may be used only during those days that the male employee is supposed to be reporting for work but due to the condition or situation of his wife and/or newborn child, he is excused from reporting for work for seven (7) days. Since during holidays or those days that are declared non-working days he is not required to report for work, it follows that the same shall not be deducted from his paternity leave benefits if he did not report for work on those days.
Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.
We hope that we were able to guide you with our opinion on the matter.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to email@example.com