No laws preventing employers from hiring pregnant women, says deputy minister

Mahfuz said complaints can be sent to his ministry if there is gender discrimination in job applications. — AFP pic
Mahfuz said complaints can be sent to his ministry if there is gender discrimination in job applications. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 16 — There are no laws which prevent employers from employing pregnant women, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

However, said Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Mahfuz Omar, complaints can be sent to his ministry if there is gender discrimination in job applications.

“We will contact the employers, organise a meeting and advise them that this should not happen,” he said during the oral question-and-answer session.

Mahfuz was replying to a supplementary question from  Nurul Izzah Anwar (PH-Permatang Pauh) on the steps to ensure that no woman is discriminated against following the government’s proposal to introduce 90-day maternity leave from 2021.

On the original question from Nurul Izzah on the measures to protect job applicants from all types of discrimination, Mahfuz said the ministry was committed to implementing the guidelines so that there is no discrimination at the workplace.

The ministry, he said, was in the process of review the labour laws, especially pertaining to job discrimination, to be included in the amendments to Act 265 (Employment Act 1955).

He said this includes discrimination of gender, religious, race, disability, marital status, language and pregnancy.

“In addition, discrimination over the terms and conditions of employment in the employment contract is also prohibited,” he said. — Bernama

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