Monday, May 05, 2008

Longer Maternity Leave For Women In The Workforce

I heard this over the radio as I was driving home from my morning climb up Bukit Kiara.

I think it's good news for women in the workforce in the five Pakatan Rakyat-led states.

This is a start. There a re lot of other "women" issues that should also be looked into. But I suppose they're taking it one step at a time.

In this case, I hope there are no hitches and that no one loses out.

SHAH ALAM, May 4 (Bernama) -- The five Pakatan Rakyat-led state governments have agreed to extend the 60-day paid maternity leave for public sector employees in their states, and are to work out the number of additional days according to the needs and demands in each state.

The new leave will only be implemented after the leaders of the five states -- Selangor, Kelantan, Perak, Penang and Kedah -- sit down together to fine-tune the needs and demands in each state.

Penang Deputy Chief Minister I Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin asked to be allowed time to fine-tune the matter at state level "and then we will sit down together and decide what's best for the five states".

He spoke at a news conference after a workers assembly here Sunday. Also present were Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim; Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin; PAS Vice-President Datuk Husam Musa who represented the Kelantan menteri besar; Kedah Rural Development, Entrepreneur Development and Public Works Committee chairman Phahrolrazi Zawawi who represented the Kedah menteri besar and Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) president Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud.

Women employees in the public sector are now entitled to 60 days of paid maternity leave for a maximum of five times.

Mohammad Fairus said the Penang government was considering extending the leave up to 75 days by taking into account locality and the people's acceptance in the state.

Abdul Khalid said the Selangor government planned to implement a 90-day maternity leave and between seven and 10 days additional leave for men whose wives were on maternity leave.

"The state government, MTUC, public and private sector workers' organisations or Cuepacs have to hold further discussions so that no one will lose out when the facility is implemented," he said.

Husam said the Kelantan government proposed to give 10 days of additional leave prior to delivery to women who found it difficult to work in an advanced state of pregnancy.

Mohammad Nizar said the Perak government was compiling data to determine whether it was possible to extend the maternity leave to 65 or 70 days.

Phahrolrazi said the Kedah government might adopt the measures to be implemented by the Kelantan government in the matter. -- BERNAMA


Anonymous said...

The Pakatan Rakyat leaders have brains. They are giving back to those who have voted them into power. Period .

GobloKing said...

I am a woman but I think this move is NOT positive for the family unit.

1. Women of productive age are often overlooked for promotions in their careers because ppl (come on now ppl, admit it!) men and women managers do evaluate employees this way..

"She is always pregnant" ie taking lots of days off or "her priority is her family" therefore implying NOT the job

2. Much as we love being with our babies - doesn't Men have the equal "right" to taking time off to help care & enjoy mother, baby and family?

Follow Scandinavia's example: Give Men some maternity leave too!

3. In extending maternity time for women, again the message goes out reinforcing the belief that -

Women (more than Men) are responsible for the care of home and family

OK y'all can shoot me now.

I believe in equality & not sacrifice only from 1 gender as fas as home & family's concerned!

Anonymous said...

Pakatan Rakyat respects women. It is always working in the interest of women. Umno is anti-women. Umno uses women for its own ends. Umno abuses women. Umno has no respect for women. Just ask their sexist MPs. Need I say more.

Anonymous said...


This looks like a good start for better things to come. I'm nowhere near getting pregnant at the moment, but it's good to know that our voices are being heard.

Donplaypuks® said...

I think 75-90 days paid leave is in line with western as well many other progressive nations. The leave period can be reduced for a 2nd and successive births, to say 60days.

Perhaps the time has arrived for some paid PATERNITY LEAVE too, say 2 weeks -1 month.

I remember that the birth of my
1st child was a joyous as well as a very stressful time for me, having to cope with a complete change in married life! The 1st month after a birth is always the most demanding one.

Perhaps PKR will push for this too.

In this age of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), this would be a step in the right direction. PLc's and large corporations can afford it, while Socso can look look into the needs of lower income groups and smaller companies.

mn said...

A.kum Kak Nuraina,

1. su-kj nak tumpang tanya sikit ni

2. Kak Aina anak berape orang dah?

3. Yang sulung boy ke girl?

Anonymous said...

this's definitely a good Rakyat's choice. I totally support this, even better if Pakatan's governments can pursue the private sectors to follow too... :)

sayangmalaysia said...

I am a female management worker in private sector with 4 children.

While I respect women who needs longer break after their maternity, I do not believe any move to make the maternity leave longer than 60 days will be positive for women. Don't get me wrong, if any new mother needs a longer leave, she should take a non-paid leave and that is her right and the management's perogative to consider. To make the maternity longer will be one added reason for some not to employ a female.

What Women Ministry should work on is to make flexible worktime a norm in this country. For the sake of the country female workers should be allowed to remain at work as long as they can. At the same time women with children should have the flexibility to keep their jobs and take care of growing children. This will save the country from underemployment of experienced workforce and ensure our next generation gets the attention and guidance they need to nurture Malaysians.

Concrete steps are urgently needed to make Malaysian companies more flexible and innovative in optimizing available workforce in the country. The under-employed workforce include mothers and retirees who want to work, but may not want to work 6 days, 12 hr days. If we harness this workforce, the country can definitely be more competitive and labour efficient!

For women and women NGOs out there, please think very carefully about pushing a longer maternity leave, it may be counter-productive for women in the long run!

Ydiana said...

I agree with gobloking and sayangmalaysia. I heard some discussions among a group of employers. Apparently this issue was somewhat brought up by Sharizat Jalil before, and as a discussion, these group of employers were saying that they will be more reluctant to employ women because of this. As they are in the private sector, their company is already paying maximum tax to the government, and also their own personal income tax, which in total is about >50% of their income. Then if they were to adapt this practise, this SME's will be further burdened.

Though it sounds very good for the women, it might just backfire. Hopefully PKR will also have this into consideration.

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