Magna Carta Special Leave Benefit for Women Employees

Updated December 14, 2018

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You are qualified for the Magna Carta Special Leave Benefit for Surgery to Treat a Gynecological Disorder if:

  • You are a woman (single, separated or married, any age)
  • You are employed (private or public sector)
  • You have been employed by your current employer for the last 12 months PRIOR to your surgery
  • You have worked under your current employer for at least 6 aggregate months within the said 12 months
  • You have undergone a surgery to treat your gynecological disorder
    (certified by your licensed gynecological physician)
  • You have filed a Magna Carta of Women Special Leave for the surgery with your employer at a reasonable time BEFORE undergoing surgery.
    If emergency, you have notified your employer within a reasonable time and have filed your leave after surgery or appropriate recuperation period

What is your benefit?

  • You are entitled to a PAID leave of up to 60 calendar days.
  • Major surgery entitles you to 22 to 60 calendar days.
    Minor surgery entitles you to 14 calendar days or less.
  • Number of leaves will depend on the recommendation of your gynecological doctor.
  • Your leave payment will be based on your current gross monthly compensation (monthly basic pay plus mandatory allowances).
  • You take your leave AFTER the surgery. The purpose is for you to rest and recuperate.
    (You can start your leave before the surgery if your employer allows it).

What gynecological disorders are covered?

Gynecological disorders that need surgery for treatment.
Gynecological disorders are disorders of the female reproductive organs.

Disorders of the following are covered:

    • Adnexa
    • Breast
    • Cervix
    • Fallopian tubes
    • Introitus
    • Ovary
    • Oviduct
    • Pelvic floor
    • Perineum
    • Uterus
    • Vagina
  • Vulva

Surgery to treat gynecological disorders specifically mentioned in RA 9710:

  • Dilatation and curettage for treatment of a gynecological disorder
  • Hysterectomy
  • Ovariectomy
  • Mastectomy
Here’s a List of GYNECOLOGICAL DISORDERS covered under the Magna Carta Special Leave Benefit program, based on the list created by the Civil Service Commission in 2010.

Can I avail if I’ve worked for my current employer for only 6 months?

NO. You should have been with your employer for 12 months prior to surgery.

Section 1 (e) of the DOLE Department Order No. 112-A Series of 2012:
(e) “At least six (6) months continuous aggregate employment service for the last twelve (12) months prior to surgery” means that the woman employee should have been with the company for twelve (12) months, prior to surgery. An aggregate service of at least six (6) months within the said 12-month period is sufficient to entitle her to avail of the special leave benefit (SLB).

Are you required to notify your employer prior to surgery?

Yes. You must notify your employer prior to surgery. This is specified in the DOLE Department Orders. If you fail to notify, your employer might use this reason to deny your Special Leave application.
Some companies who have sent memos regarding their Magna Carta Special Leave policies require their employees to notify them at least 5 days prior to surgery.
Only emergency surgeries are exempted from prior notification.

Who will decide the number of paid leaves that will be granted to you?

It will be your employer, and they should base their decision on the number of days recommended and certified by a competent licensed physician. The DOLE did not specify if it should be the employee’s gynecologist, the SSS gynecologist or the employer’s gynecologist.

Section 4 of the DOLE Department Order No. 112-A Series of 2012:
For purposes of determining the period of leave with pay that will be allowed to a woman employee, the certification of a competent physician as to the required period of recuperation shall be controlling.
Section 1 (g) of the DOLE Department Order No. 112-A Series of 2012:
“(strong>Competent physician” means a medical doctor preferably specializing in gynecological disorders or is in the position to determine the period of recuperation of the woman employee. .

What are the documents you need to submit to your employer?

DOLE did not list the documents required. Ask your HR or your employer prior to surgery.
I have seen some employers’ documentary requirements and these are the following:
Certified true copy of the following hospital records:
1. Fit-to-work certification from the physician
2. Operating room record (Operative technique or surgical memorandum)
3. Hospital abstract
4. Discharge summary
5. Histopathology report

When should you submit the required documents?

After your surgery, during or after your recuperation.
Ask your employer or HR about your company’s policies. Some employers require a pre-admission document from your doctor prior to your surgery. Some also pay you only after they receive your documents, so the earlier you’re able to submit documents, the better for you.

When should you take your Special Leave?

Immediately after your surgery. It is for your recuperation or recovery.

Section 5 of the DOLE Department Order No. 112-A Series of 2012:
Availment. — The special leave shall be granted to the qualified employee after she has undergone surgery.

When should you receive your Special Leave pay?

On your pay days — the days when you normally receive your salary for the period that cover your Special Leave dates.
Your employer can also decide to pay your leave in full prior to or after surgery.

Section 11 of the DOLE Department Order No. 112-A Series of 2012:
Mode of payment. — The woman employee shall not report for work for the duration of the leave but she will still receive her salary covering said period.
The employer, in its discretion, may allow said employee to receive her pay for the period covered by the approved leave before or during the surgery.

Some employers will require submission of documents before paying the special leave, so submit your documents as soon as you can.
Some generous employers give the total leave pay before or during the surgery, if they receive a certification from the surgeon certifying the employee’s hospital admission and scheduled surgery.

How many times can you avail of this Special Leave Benefit per year?

As many as needed, as long as these are surgeries due to gynecological disorders, and as long as you have not yet exceeded two months of Special Leave for the year. The DOLE document states that two months mean 60 calendar days.
Section 6 of the DOLE Department Order No. 112-A Series of 2012:
Frequency of availment. – A woman employee can avail of the special leave benefit for every instance of surgery due to gynecological disorder for a maximum total period of two (2) months per year.

Can you file for your SSS sickness benefit for the same surgery?

YES.
Special Leave Benefit will be paid by your employer.
SSS sickness benefit will be paid by SSS.

Can your employer use your Mandated or Statutory leaves or your Sick and Vacation leaves to cover your Special Leave Benefit?

NO.
Your Special Leave Benefit is different from your Mandated or Statutory leaves (5-day special incentive leave, parental leave for solo parents, leave for victims of violence against women) and different from your company leaves (Sick Leave and Vacation Leave).
In fact, if you need an extended leave for your recovery, you can use your sick leave or vacation leave, in addition to your Magna Carta Special Leave Benefit.

Section 8 of the DOLE Department Order No. 112-A Series of 2012:
Special leave benefit vis-a-vis existing statutory leaves. — The special leave benefit cannot be taken from existing statutory leaves (i.e. 5-day Service Incentive Leave, Leave for victims of VAWC, Parental Leave for Solo Parents).
The benefit is considered an addition to the leave benefits granted under existing laws and should be added on top of said statutory leave entitlements.
If the special leave benefit has already been exhausted, the company leave and other mandated leave benefits may be availed of by the woman employee.
Number 2.3 of the Civil Service Commission Guidelines on the Availment of the Special Leave Benefits for Women under RA 9710.Should the period of recuperation after the surgery exceed two months, the female official/employee may use her earned sick leave credits for the same. If the sick leave credits have been exhausted, the vacation leave credits may be used.

What if your gynecological surgery is performed during your maternity leave?

You will avail of your maternity leave, but you will NOT be granted additional days for Special Leave. Instead, your employer will pay the difference between your Special Leave Benefit amount and your Maternity Leave Benefit amount.

Section 9 of the DOLE Department Order No. 112-A Series 2012. Special leave benefit vis-a-vis maternity leave benefit. –
Where the woman employee had undergone surgery due to gynecological disorder during her maternity leave, she is entitled only to the difference between the SLB and maternity leave benefit.

Can you decline your special leave and convert it to cash?

NO.
Unless your company CBA has a provision that allows conversion of Special Leaves.

Which agency monitors the enforcement of the Magna Carta of Women’s Special Leave Benefit?

The DOLE Regional Office in your area

For GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES:For women employees in the public sector, are there specific rules that apply to them?

Yes, there are. These are the following:

1. Apply for the special leave benefit at least 5 days prior to the scheduled date of surgery.
Use the Civil Service Form No. 6

2. After your surgery, submit the following documents:
– Medical certificate describing the operative technique used, duration of the surgery and the peri-operative period, and estimated period of recuperation
– Clinical summary
– Histopathological report
– Operative technique used

3. When you return to work, submit a medical certificate signed by your surgeon certifying you’re physically fit to assume the duties of your position

4. If you had an emergency gynecological surgery, you can submit the required documents when you return to work. But of course, as a responsible employee, notify your supervisor or manager as soon as you can.

5. You can use your special leave credits for preparatory procedures and/or confinement prior to the surgery.

6. If the 2-month leave is not enough for your recuperation, you can use your earned sick leave credits. If you need more, you can use your vacation leave credits.

References:

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