Understanding Employee Leaves

Paid leaves are mandated by law in the Philippines. They include the following:

Service incentive leaves

All employees who have rendered at least one year of service is entitled to 5 days of paid incentive leave every year. The phrase “one year of service” of the employee means service within 12 months, whether continuous or broken, reckoned from the date the employee started working, including authorized absences and paid holidays.


Exemptions are:

  • Employees already enjoying benefits of at least 5 days of vacation leave with pay.
  • Establishments that regularly employ less than 10 employees.
  • Establishments exempted by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) due to financial considerations.

Maternity leave

Female employees, whether married or unmarried, are entitled to 60 calendar days of paid maternity leave – or 78 calendar days in case of a caesarian delivery – equivalent to 100% of her average daily salary. The benefit applies to all women, irrespective of their civil status, and covers her first 4 deliveries or miscarriages. When enacted, the pending Expanded Maternity Leave Law of 2015, will extend the entitlement to 100 days.

Paternity Leave

A married male employee, regardless of employment status, is entitled to 7 calendar days of paid leave after his wife gives birth. This benefit applies to the first 4 deliveries or miscarriages of the legitimate spouse with whom the employee is cohabiting.

Parental leave

Single parents raising one or more children are entitled to at least 7 more days of paid leaves per year. The Act includes provisions to help solo parents with incomes below the National Economic Development Authority’s poverty threshold.

Leave for female victims of violence

Female employees who have been victims of physical, sexual, psychological violence and economic abuse as defined by Republic Act No. 9262 or the Violence Against Women and Children Act have the option to apply for a 10-day paid leave of absence which can be extended as needed. This leave also covers the days required for the employee to tend to medical and legal concerns. Female employees need only present their employer with a certification from either her attorney, officer of the court, barangay chairman, or councilor.

Special leave benefits included in the Magna Carta for Women

Female employees can apply for this special 2-month leave following surgeries related to gynecological disorders, provided they have rendered continuous aggregate employment service of at least six (6) months for the last twelve (12) months prior to surgery. Benefits include full pay based on gross monthly income. The leave is non-cumulative and nonconvertible to cash.


Voluntary or Company-Initiated Leaves

Other leave entitlements are voluntarily provided by the employer based on a company’s policies or an employee’s collective bargaining agreement (CBA). They include:


  1. Sick leave

A paid leave of absence when employees get sick. Some companies extend the entitlement to situations when an employee misses work to care for a sick family member. Employees can file their leaves once they return to work. A doctor’s note is usually required if an employee applies for the leave in advance or is sick for 3 consecutive days or more.


  1. Study leave

A 6-month paid leave granted to qualifying employees preparing for the bar or board exams.


  1. Terminal leave

Emoluments given to an employee equaling their accumulated leave credits. The amount is based on an employee’s highest salary rate prior to retirement or voluntary resignation.


  1. Special emergency leave

A 5-day leave for employees directly affected by natural disasters or calamities.


  1. Vacation leave

Personal time off eligible employees are entitled to.


  1. Forced/mandatory leave

A 5-day mandatory leave an employee takes to ensure leave entitlements are not forfeited or when unused vacation leaves are about to expire.


  1. Special privilege leave

A leave of absence reserved for occasions like birthdays, or emergencies including bereavement.

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