Malaysian female employees should be allowed to take 90 days of maternity leave, said Senate on Wednesday (Dec 13). Employers in private sector could be investigated and prosecuted if they terminate their female staff take such leave, Bernama reports.
Deputy Minister of Human Resources, Datuk Seri Ismail Abd Muttalib said that such action was taken in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Constitution, as it said that every citizen holds equal rights in every aspect, including in employment.
While there is no specific clause stating that private employers cannot dismiss the employment of a female worker for taking 90 days maternity leave, the ministry ought to uphold the principle law rooted from the Federal Constitution.
He also added that employers are not allowed to terminate the service of female workers when they bear children. Despite their pregnancy, these women have also contributed much to help their companies to thrive in the business.
Speaking in the senate when winding up the debate on the Supply Bill 2018 at policy level for his ministry, Mr Muttalib also encouraged the public to report when they evidence an employer terminating a female worker for taking 90 days of maternity leave. The ministry will investigate and take further action from the report.
During the tabling of Budget 2018 held last October, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had announced that the mandatory maternity leave for the private sector had been increased from 60 to 90 days, the same policy as in the public sector.
Mr Muttalib said that the proposed 90-day maternity leave would be divided into two phases. The first phase would involve consultation with the stakeholders and ask for their views and feedbacks towards the matter on hand.
Meanwhile, the second phase would be amendments to Section 37 of the Employment Act 1995, Section 83 of the Sabah Labour Ordinance Chapter 67 and Section 84 of the Sarawak Labour Ordinance Chapter 76, he said.