Employers must allow female staff 90 days maternity leave

Private sector employers could be prosecuted if they dismiss female staff who took 90 days maternity leave, warned the deputy minister of human resources. — AFP file pic
Private sector employers could be prosecuted if they dismiss female staff who took 90 days maternity leave, warned the deputy minister of human resources. — AFP file pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 13 — Private sector employers can be investigated and prosecuted if they dismiss female staff who take 90 days maternity leave.

Deputy Minister of Human Resources Datuk Seri Ismail Abd Muttalib said such action was in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Constitution that everyone had equal rights including employment.

“Although there is no specific clause stating that private sector employers cannot terminate the service of a female worker for taking 90 days maternity leave, we have to uphold the principle law which is the Federal Constitution.

“Employers cannot terminate the service of female workers when they become pregnant; these women have contributed much to help their companies to thrive.

“If the employer terminates the service of a female staff for taking 90 days leave, report the matter and the ministry will investigate,” he said when winding up the debate on the Supply Bill 2018 at policy level for his ministry in the Senate today.

During the tabling of Budget 2018 on Oct 27, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced that the mandatory maternity leave for the private sector had been increased from 60 to 90 days, as in the public sector.

Ismail said the proposed 90-day maternity leave would be in two phases, with the first phase involving consultation with the stakeholders to get their views and feedback.

The second phase would involve 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. — Bernama

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