FEMALE workers undergoing surgery for gynecological disorders may avail of a two-month special leave over and above their leave privileges under existing laws, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz made the clarification on Wednesday in response to a query from a female worker on the proper implementation of the mandatory special leave for women.
“This special leave privilege for women is contained in Department Order No. 112-11, which lays down the guidelines for availing the special leave benefit provided for under Republic Act 9710 [Section 18], known as the Magna Carta of Women,” Baldoz said, adding that the “two-month leave is in addition to the leave privileges under existing laws.”
Eligible for the special leave benefit are women employed in the private and public sectors, regardless of age and civil status, with at least six months’ aggregate employment service rendered in the 12 months prior to the surgery.
The leave may be for a maximum period of two months per year with full pay, based on the employee’s gross monthly compensation following surgery caused by gynecological disorders.
The special leave benefit shall be granted to a qualified female employee after she has undergone surgery, without prejudice to an employer allowing an employee to receive her pay before or during the surgery.
The benefit is non-cumulative and not convertible to cash, unless otherwise provided for in a collective bargaining agreement (CBA).
“It may be used for the period covering the surgery until recuperation. Absence incurred from the pre-surgery period, as well as those in excess of two months allowed under the special leave benefit, may be charged against the employee’s earned leave credits,” Baldoz said.
To apply for the special leave, a woman employee shall file her leave application within a reasonable period of time from the expected date of surgery, or within such period as may be provided by company rules, or by a CBA.
Gynecological disorders refer to disorders that would require surgical procedures, such as, but not limited to, dilation and curettage and those involving female reproductive organs, such as vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, breast, adnexea and pelvic floor, as certified by a competent physician.