Philippines Leave Laws

February 26th 2024

Ensuring a productive and positive workplace environment for all employees requires the provision of adequate time off from work.

The Labor Code of the Philippines and other special laws mandate employers to provide certain types of leave to their employees. However, they may also offer additional leave benefits that are beyond the scope of the Philippines leave laws.

This comprehensive guide discusses the legal framework for required and non-required leaves in the Philippines.

This Article Covers:

Philippines Required Leave
Philippines Non-Required Leave
Special Leave Privileges in the Philippines
Public Holidays in the Philippines

Philippines Required Leave

Contrary to popular opinion, vacation and sick leave are not mandatory for employees in the Philippines. Under the Philippines leave laws, the mandatory types of leave an employer must provide are: 

Service Incentive Leave (SIL)

Service Incentive Leave (SIL) is mandated by Article 95 of the Labor Code. Under the provision, all employees who have rendered service for at least a year of service will receive 5 days of leave credits annually. Employees can use these credits for vacation or sick leave and receive payment during these absences.

However, there are certain groups of employees that are not eligible for SIL:

  • Government employees
  • Managerial employees
  • Field personnel
  • Domestic helpers
  • Employees in businesses with less than 10 employees
  • Employees that have at least 5 days vacation leave with pay

If the service incentive leave is not used or exhausted at the end of the year, it can be converted to its monetary equivalent.

Maternity Leave

Every pregnant female worker in the Philippines, regardless of their civil status, is entitled to 105 days of maternity leave. A female employee who has made at least 3 monthly contributions to the Social Security System (SSS) throughout the 12-month period prior to the semester of her birth is eligible for a paid daily maternity leave benefit.

The maternity benefit is equal to 100% of her average income credit for 60 days, or 78 days for employees who give birth by cesarean delivery.

Paternity Leave 

Married male employees can seek 7 days of paid leave to assist their spouses with childbirth, recuperation, and infant care, for the deliveries of their first four children.

Employers must be notified of the pregnancy and expected delivery date.

Victims of Violence Against Women and Their Children (VAWC) Leave

Female employees who are victims of violence or assault, as defined in Republic Act No. 9262, are entitled to up to 10 days of paid leave, which can be extended as needed. The leave benefit is made available in order for the employee to attend to medical and legal issues.

In accordance with the protection order granted by the barangay or court, the employee need to present their employer with a certification from the barangay chairman (Punong Barangay), barangay councilor, prosecutor, or clerk of Court that an action regarding the matter is in process, in order to request the leave benefit.

In the event that the leave benefit is not used, it cannot be converted into cash and is not cumulative.

Parental Leave for Solo Parents

Under Republic Act No. 8972, parents who are solely responsible for parenthood are entitled to 7 days of paid parental leave. However, the individual’s circumstances must fit one of the following scenarios:

  • Birth as a result of rape and other crimes against chastity;
  • Death of spouse;
  • Spouse detained or serving a sentence for a criminal conviction for at least a year;
  • Physical and/or mental incapacity of the spouse as certified by a public medical practitioner;
  • Legal separation or de facto separation from spouse for at least 1 year, provided that the individual has been entrusted with the child/children’s custody;
  • Declaration of marriage annulment as decreed by a court or church;
  • Spouse abandonment for at least a year;
  • Unmarried individual who has preferred to keep and care for their child or children;
  • Any other person who primarily gives parental care and support, provided that the individual is a duly licensed foster parent by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) or duly designated legal guardian by the court; and
  • Any family member who takes on the role of family head as a result of the death, abandonment, disappearance, or extended absence of the parents, provided that such circumstances lasted for at least a year.

Aside from the prerequisites listed above, the solo parent employee must comply with the following to be eligible for leave:

  • Employee has rendered at least 1 year of service, whether continuous or broken;
  • The employer has been notified of the intention to take the absence within a reasonable period of time; and
  • The employer has been presented with a Solo Parent Identification Card, which can be obtained from the DSWD office of the city or municipality where the employee lives.

Solo parent employees must note that unused parental leave cannot be converted into cash unless otherwise agreed upon in the employment contract. Furthermore, if the solo parent’s status or circumstances change, the employee’s eligibility for the benefit can be terminated.

Special Leave Benefits for Women

In the Philippines, female employees are mandated to request a 2-month leave benefit (with full payment based on their gross monthly income) due to surgery for gynecological disorders. This is regardless of their age or civil status but the employee must have rendered at least 6 months of continuous aggregate. In the case that she needs to extend her leave, she can use her earned leave credits. Special leave benefits for women are not cumulative and cannot be monetized when unused.

Philippines Non-Required Leave

Employers in the Philippines are permitted to provide other types of leave to their employees. These should be set out in a corporate policy with regulations controlling application, qualification, and duration of the leave benefits.

Sick Leave

Although sick leave is not required, employees can use their service incentive leave to request time off due to illness. As previously stated, SIL provides 5 days of paid leave for employees to use for sickness, vacation, or other personal reasons. Employers can provide sick leave benefits beyond the statutory minimum standards.

Furthermore, insured employees who are sick can receive 90% of their regular salary when confined in a hospital or healthcare facility. To be eligible for this benefit, employees must have contributed to the Social Security System for at least 3 months in the previous 12 months. This benefit begins once the employee has used all of their paid sick leave.

Bereavement Leave

Employers are not required by law to offer bereavement leave to employees who have lost a family member. However, people’s representatives have introduced a bill in Congress to grant bereavement leave. In the proposed Bereavement Act of 2022, employers shall provide 10 days of paid bereavement leave to allow employees to grieve their loss without sacrificing their income.

Numerous employers in the Philippines choose to provide three days (or longer) of bereavement leave to their employees. This helps their employees grieve and heal from the untimely demise of an immediate family member. Some employers even provide longer bereavement leave.

Vacation Leave

Although vacation leave is not required by Philippines leave laws, it is the most frequently requested work leave among employees. The number of days of vacation leave given is up to the employer’s discretion. If offered, employers should outline the guidelines about the leave requirement in the employment contract, employee handbook, or corporate policy.

Military Leave

In the Philippines, military leave is not required by law. However, in 2022, House Bill No. 6377 was filed, proposing military duty leave. The proposed bill will provide military reservists with 7 days of paid leave to attend military training or participate in military activities.

Voting Leave

Voting leave is another leave entitlement not mandated by the law. However, in May 2022, the former president declared the election day a special non-working holiday to allow citizens  to vote. Those who had to report to work that day received 30% compensation.

Special Leave Privileges

Government employees have special leave privileges. In addition to mandatory leave, employees with or without a Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA) can request a special leave. Here are the possible reasons an employee may request such leave:

  • Personal milestones
  • Parental obligations
  • Filial obligations
  • Domestic emergencies
  • Personal transactions
  • Calamity, accident, hospitalization

CSC Memorandum Circular No. 6, s. 1999 provides the Expanded Conditions, which cites that

  • Employees can appeal for a special leave privilege for their birthday or any other occasion. If the employee’s birthday falls on a weekend, the employee can request it before or after the occasion.
  • Employees applying for special privilege leave shall no longer be required to present proof that they are entitled to avail of such leaves.
  • An employee can avail of one special privilege leave for 3 days or a combination of any of the types of leave for a maximum of 3 days in a given year. Special leave privileges are non-cumulative and cannot be carried over to the succeeding year if unused.

Public Holidays in the Philippines

The Philippines has 30 days of public holidays per year, and working on a public holiday is considered overtime work. Employees who work on a holiday are entitled to one of the following:

  • Regular Holidays: Employees working on a regular holiday are paid 200% of their daily rate for that day. This is often referred to as “double pay.”
  • Special Non-Working Days: Employees working on a declared special non-working day are compensated with an additional 30% of their daily rate.
  • Working beyond 8 hours: Employees working beyond 8 hours on a holiday are entitled to overtime pay. You can read more about labor laws in the Philippines for more detailed information about overtime.
  • Working on a rest day: If employees are working on their rest day and it falls on a holiday, they are entitled to an additional 30% of their double holiday pay. Meanwhile, if it is a special non-working day, employees should receive an additional 50% of their daily rate.

List of Regular and Special Non-Working Holidays in the Philippines:

Date Holiday Type
January 1 New Year’s Day Regular Holiday
January 23 Lunar New Year’s Day Special Non-Working Holiday
February 25 People Power Anniversary Special Non-Working Holiday
Tentative Dates
(dates vary every year)
Maundy Thursday Regular Holiday
Good Friday Regular Holiday
Black Saturday Special Non-Working Holiday
The Day of Valor Regular Holiday
Eid Al-Fitr Regular Holiday
May 1 Labor Day Regular Holiday
June 12 Independence Day Regular Holiday
Tentative Date
(date vary every year)
Eid al-Adha Regular Holiday
Aug 21 Ninoy Aquino Day Special Non-Working Holiday
Aug 26 National Heroes Day Regular Holiday
November 1 All Saints’ Day Special Non-Working Holiday
November 30 Bonifacio Day Regular Holiday
December 8 Feast of the Immaculate Conception Special Non-Working Holiday
December 25 Christmas Day Regular Holiday
December 30 Rizal Day Regular Holiday
December 31 New Year’s Eve Special Non-Working Holiday

In 2024, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Black Saturday fall from March 28 to March 30. Meanwhile, the tentative dates for Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha are April 10 and June 17.

Understanding and respecting these customs and holidays is critical for employers. Recognizing the significance of these dates promotes an inclusive working environment.

Important Cautionary Note

When making this guide, we have tried to make it as accurate as possible. However, we do not give any guarantee that the information provided is correct or up-to-date. We therefore strongly advise you to seek advice from qualified professionals before acting on any information provided in this guide. We do not accept any liability for any damages or risks incurred by the use of this guide.