• Poe proposes 10-day bereavement leave

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    WORKERS in the public and private sectors who have lost a family member will benefit from a new kind of mandatory leave proposed on Thursday by Sen. Grace Poe.

    Senate Bill 1026 or the Bereavement Leave Act of 2016 calls for a 10-day leave with full pay for all employees in the private and public sectors whose immediate family member had died.

    The proposed measure will require companies and government offices to provide 10 days of bereavement leave to employees without reducing existing leave benefits.

    Poe, in filing the bill, noted that the Labor Code does not have a provision that will give mourners adequate time to cope with the death of a loved one.

    While some companies provide “compassionate leave” of three to five days, this is an insufficient length of time to attend to the details of the wake and burial, as well as properly mourn a loss, she said.

    “The loss of a family member is devastating. During this period, the mourners becomes crippled emotionally and drained mentally for days, unable to function normally,” the senator pointed out.

    Under the bill, employees in the public and private sectors who avail themselves of the bereavement leave shall be assured of security of tenure.

    The leave cannot be used as grounds for cases of misconduct, demotion, termination from employment or any form of unsatisfactory performance.

    Workers may avail themselves of the 10-day leave upon the death of an immediate family member including a spouse, children, parents, siblings, grandparents and parents-in-law.

    A fine not exceeding P20,000 or imprisonment of 15 days to one month awaits any person, corporation or entity found violating the proposed act.

    If the violation is committed by a corporation, trust or firm, partnership, association or any other entity, the penalty of imprisonment shall be imposed on the entity’s responsible officers including the president, vice president, general manager and other individuals directly responsible.

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