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Leave benefits for women who undergo surgery

January 15, 2013

Dear PAO,
I recently found out that I have a condition, which requires the removal of both of my ovaries. My doctor advised me to take several weeks off from my job to recuperate.

My concern is that I have only been working for a year in a BPO company and my earned leaves won’t cover the days that I would actually be absent from work. Do we have a law, which gives consideration to employees who are absent from work for situations like mine?
BB

Dear BB,
Republic Act 9710 more commonly known as “The Magna Carta of Women” grants special leave benefits for women who have undergone surgery caused by gynecological disorders. Section 18 thereof provides:

“Sec. 8. Special Leave Benefits for Women.—A woman employee having rendered continuous aggregate employment service of at least six months for the last 12 months shall be entitled to a special leave benefit of two months with full pay based on her gross monthly compensation following surgery caused by gynecological disorders.”

Gynecological disorders refer to disorders that would require surgical procedures such as, but not limited to dilatation and curettage and those involving female productive organs such as the vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, breast, adnexa and pelvic floor, as certified by a competent physician. It shall also include hysterectomy, ovariectomy and mastectomy (Sec. 1, Guidelines Governing the Implementation of the Special Leave Benefits for Women Employees in the Private Sector). Any employee, regardless of age and civil status, shall be entitled to this special leave provided she has complied with the following conditions: 1) she has rendered at least six months continuous aggregate employment service for the last 12 months prior to surgery; 2) she has filed an application for leave in accordance with sec. 3 hereof; 3) she has undergone surgery because of gynecological disorders as certified by a competent physician (Sec. 2, id.).

The employee who wishes to avail of this leave benefit shall file her application for leave with her employer within a reasonable period of time from the expected date of surgery, or within such period as may be provided by company rules and regulations or by collective bargaining agreement. However, prior application for leave shall not be necessary in cases requiring emergency surgical procedure, provided that the employer shall be notified verbally or in written form within a reasonable period of time and provided further that after the surgery or appropriate recuperating period, the employee shall immediately file her application using the prescribed form (Sec. 3, id.). If you were qualified based on the afore-mentioned requirements, you shall be entitled to a leave with full pay for two months based on your gross monthly compensation. Gross monthly compensation refers to your monthly basic pay plus mandatory allowances fixed by the regional wage boards (Sec. 5, id.).

We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated. –PERSIDA ACOSTA, Manila Times

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