Workers’ rights you might not know you have

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) – You cannot fight for your rights if you do not know them.

You may be aware of your rights to a holiday pay, weekly rest day and to forming or joining a labor union, but there is more to workers’ rights than meets the eye.

Philippine laws can be a treasure trove of special leave benefits for your perusal.

Also read: Senate approves bill granting 100-day maternity leave

Service incentive leave

Have you been an employee for at least one year? Time to check if your company has given you your service incentive leave (SIL).

Article 95 of the Labor Code of the Philippines guarantees employees working for 12 months the right to a yearly SIL of five days with pay. These can be used in the form of sick leaves (SL) or vacation leaves (VL).

At the end of each year, unconsumed SIL credits will be converted to cold cash. You can also save them up and take the accumulated money equivalent once you resign.

The following employees, however, are not entitled to the SIL:

Government employees, including those working in government owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs)

Domestic helpers and those in personal service of another

Managerial employees

Field personnel or those unsupervised by employers, workers hired on a contractual or commission basis, or those paid a fixed amount based on performance and irrespective of hours rendered

Those already enjoying a VL with pay of at least five days

Those employed in establishments regularly employing less than ten workers

Establishments exempted from granting this benefit by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), due to their financial condition

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Parental leave, additional benefits for solo parents

If you are raising at least one child on your own, you are entitled to a parental leave of at least seven working days every year – on top of other paid leaves under the Labor Code.

This special benefit is granted to any solo parent employee who has rendered at least one year of service to his/her company, under Republic Act (R.A.) 8972 or the Solo Parents’ Welfare Act of 2000.

It is non-cumulative, so you better consume all leaves in a year.

RA 8972 also has additional provisions for single working moms and dads whose income fall below the poverty threshold set by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), which is P8,022 as of the first semester of 2013.

Eligible solo parents should also approach the following government agencies to claim these additional services:

Health Services – Department of Health

Educational Services – Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Technical Education and Skills Authority (TESDA)

Housing – National Housing Authority (NHA)

What will you do with your 13th month pay?

A two-month paid leave for women…

Hold your horses, this special benefit of a two-month paid leave can be availed by women employees only after undergoing a surgical operation caused by gynecological disorders.

Gynecological disorders are abnormalities in the female reproductive system.

Among the most common examples of which are dysmenorrhea or menstrual pain, uterine fibroids or benign tumors in the uterus, and the polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which is characterized by hormonal imbalance.

Women patients who have rendered an employment service of at least six to 12 months “shall be entitled to a special leave benefit of two (2) months with full pay based on her gross monthly compensation,” according to Sec. 18 of R.A. 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women.

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Leave for women victims of violence

The Center for Women's Resources calls on aspiring leaders to file measures to end the abuses against women, as rape cases incurred a 92-percent increase in 2014.

R.A. 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004 criminalizes all forms of violence against women and children, including physical, sexual and psychological violence, and economic abuse – which includes deprivation of a woman’s financial resources.

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The law protects victims from prejudice in the workplace as they seek medical or legal attention.

Under Section 43 of this act, women employees who fall prey to violence can take a paid leave of absence of up to 10 days. This can even be extended as the need arises.