Working Filipinas are now entitled to paid leave days for gynecological surgeries, thanks to the Magna Carta of Women (MCW). The Republic Act No. 9710 aims to uphold women’s rights, which means ensuring protection from gender-based violence, equal employment opportunities, and reproductive health benefits.
The MCW leave benefit program covers gynecological disorders of the following organs: breast, cervix, vagina, uterus, ovary, vulva, perineum, and introitus. The special leave covers major and minor procedures. Minor procedures require a recovery period a maximum of two weeks (14 calendar days) whereas major ones can range from three weeks to two months (22 to 60 calendar days).
This special leave is a victory for modern Filipinas in the workforce. Of course, these are benefits we never wish we’d have the need for. But to be safe, make sure you exercise your rights by understanding how the MCW leave works and how to obtain it.
How to File a Magna Carta Special Leave
Women of any age or marital status are qualified for gynecological leaves, whether they’re in the public or private sector. You have to be employed by the company for the last 12 months prior to the date of your surgery. In those 12 months, you have to have rendered six months of continual service.
For government employees, you have to file at least five days before your scheduled surgery.
Private sector employees must also file within a reasonable period of time prior to their operation. This protocol is waived for cases requiring an emergency gynecological procedure.
In such a case, file your leave immediately upon returning to the office.
A licensed gynecological physician must certify that you underwent surgery. The doctor will also recommend a minimum recovery period. Your employer will have the final say on how many paid leaves you’ll have, but with the guidance of your gynecologist’s recommendation.
You have to present the following requirements when filing an MCW leave:
- Properly accomplished leave form used in your organization
- A medical certificate issued by a competent medical authority, preferably a gynecological specialist. Your med cert should also have a histopathological report, clinical summary of your gynecological disorder, duration of surgery, operative technique used, confinement period, and recuperation period.
Scope of the Gynecological Leave
You can get the MCW special leave for every gynecological surgery you have, as long as the total period doesn’t exceed 60 calendar days per year.
Although the 60-day leave is meant for your recovery after a gynecological operation, it can also cover preparatory procedures or confinement prior to the surgery. If the recuperation period prescribed by your gyne exceeds two months, you can use your sick leave credits for an extension, or your vacation leaves if the former is exhausted.
You’ll receive your special leave pay according to your company’s normal salary days. For the private sector, the employer has the discretion to release your MCW leave pay before or during your surgery, to help you with the hospital and medical expenses.
One common question about the gynecological leave benefit is if it can be used in conjunction with the SSS sickness benefit. Yes, you can because they’re provided by separate entities. Your employer will pay your MCW leave and SSS grants the sickness benefit.
Different companies may also have similar or coinciding benefits in their policy. In such cases, ask your HR on how this affects your gynecological.
The essence of Magna Carta of Women is to create safe workplaces for Filipinas. And although this law promises to help women break the glass ceiling, it’s fulfillment relies largely on the commitment of employers to follow through with the provisions.
The essence of Magna Carta of Women is to create safe workplaces for Filipinas. And while this law promises to help women break the glass ceiling, it’s fulfillment relies largely on employers’ commitment to following through with the provisions.