March 22, 2019
The business sector cannot help but worry over the impact of the Expanded Maternity Leave Law on the costs and productivity, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) said.
In a text message to The Manila Times, PCCI President Alegria Limjoco said, “Businessmen will be businessmen,” adding that the law might affect their decision in hiring women.
Limjoco’s statement was in response to the recent survey conducted by the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) which indicated that majority or 68 percent of the firms are bothered by the effects of the Expanded Maternity Leave Law on businesses.
Signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last month, the law allows pregnant employees to take a maternity leave of up to 105 days.
Limjoco pointed out that the Philippines had one of the most number of paid holidays. For 2019, the government has scheduled 19 regular and special non-working holidays.
“[Adding] almost four months more for maternity leave [on top of paid holidays], these affect productivity and costs to employers, especially small businesses,” she said.
The ECOP survey showed many firms were concerned over “higher cost implications in terms of the benefit and the cost of hiring and training a temporary replacement.”
They are also troubled over output, saying productivity could decrease with the extended period of absence of female workers on maternity leave, the survey added.
However, Limjoco admitted there would always a need to hire female employees.
“For some industries like garments. Beauty products, etc, they need to hire women,” she said.
“Commitment, excellent learning and analytical skills and [compatibility] to position” should be the bases of qualification in hiring employees, she added.
The survey was conducted from March 11 to 15 among 70 firms. The results provided were only preliminary and will be completed by March 30.
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