While the passage of the Expanded Maternity Law would obviously benefit working women, there are legitimate concerns that the EML Law would negatively impact the employability of women. No less than Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECoP) President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. mentioned that an employer will be discouraged from hiring women once the EML is fully implemented.
There are reasons to believe that the EML Law may also harm women in the workplace.
With the passage of the EML, it is likely that companies may prefer hiring men over women for gender neutral posts as women, particularly those of childbearing age, may be less productive and considered only as an added expense given the possibility of child birth. In reality, companies still have the freedom to hire personnel based on their operational requirements and financial capabilities, although there are legal safeguards in place such as the Magna Carta for Women and the Labor Code to protect women against discrimination.
Longer maternity leaves may also hurt the career of working mothers. Studies conducted in Canada and other Scandinavian countries, where parental leaves have been expanded, reveal that women who decide to take a longer time off are less likely to be promoted, move into management or receive a pay raise once their leave is over. Moreover, it is probable that working mothers who take full advantage of the 105-day leave may be at risk of being fired or being forced to resign.
Longer maternity leaves may also create a negative perception that working women who take full advantage of the 105-day paid leave are less committed to their jobs than those who take shorter leaves. This is already with prejudice to the conditions of the working mother who just gave birth.
At the end of the day, women should not be made to choose between their careers or child care. Companies should also not be short-sighted on the positive benefits of the implementation of EML on the productivity of their female workforce. Women deserve to be treated humanely not only in hospitals but also in their workplaces.
Servehappy Jobs encourages companies to practice fairness and equality in hiring. Men and women alike are welcome to apply through our website, https://www.servehappyjobs.com/