5-day ‘mental wellness’ leave sought for workers

A bill seeking to grant mental wellness leave to workers was filed in the House of Representatives.

The proposed “Mental Wellness Leave Act” grants five days of leave in addition to existing mandatory vacation and sick leaves.

Bill author Representative Alfred delos Santos of Ang Probinsyano party-list said the additional leave could be used to consult with mental health professionals, undergo therapy or take a break from daily stress.

He said the bill also requires employers to implement programs promoting workers’ mental health.

The Philippine Mental Health Law, which took effect in July 2018, is a rights-based mental health bill protecting workers availing themselves of psychiatric, neurologic and psychological help from stigma and discrimination.

He cited the need to widen the scope on the Philippine Mental Health Law, to include a prevention program to address rising depressive disorders and suicide rates caused by the pandemic.

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