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ECOP poll shows expanded maternity leave may affect women’s employment chances

Almost seven out of 10 companies are thinking twice about hiring female employees following the enactment of the Expanded Maternity Leave Act, initial results of a survey conducted by the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) showed.

According to Mariz Umali's report on State of the Nation with Jessica Soho, ECOP clarified the survey covered only a few companies and did not represent all employers in the country.

Sixty-eight percent of those who already answered the still ongoing poll said the extended maternity leave would affect their decisions when hiring female employees.

"Mako-compromise daw 'yung productivity ng company at, siyempre, iniisip din nila 'yung cost implications in terms of the benefits," ECOP director general Jose Roland Moya said on Mariz Umali's report for 24 Oras on Thursday.

Republic Act 11210 extends paid maternity leave from 60 days to 105 days with full pay.

The measure also provides working women on maternity leave the option to extend for another 30 days without pay, whereas solo mothers will get 15 days of additional leave.

ECOP expressed concern that job-hunting would become more difficult for women in the Philippines. Some firms have said their decision-making would not be influenced by the new measure.

"Women are more organized, more detail-oriented, and generally more reliable," Mayo said.

ECOP said that the results were only initial from the survey they plan to conduct until March 30.

Female job seekers could not help but feel worried.

"Hindi naman buwan-buwan nanganganak ang babae," said Rosalin Dillo.

"Unfair po kasi paano kung sila talaga 'yung compatible para sa skills na kailangan ng kumpanya?" another job hunter, Alexandra Canapit, said.

"Hindi pa nga naii-interview, iisipin na kaagad na hindi na kaagad puwede yung babae kasi nga mahaba-habang maternity."

Meanwhile, a man who was asked about the survey said he expects more opportunities coming his way, but not without greater responsibility.

"Malaki ang chances na makakapasok kami. Pakiramdam ko, mado-doble 'yung responsibilidad namin, nado-doble 'yung oras, Mag-overtime na naman kami," Bernardo Catubig said. —Margaret Claire Layug/NB, GMA News