As reported in Bernama, private sector employers can be investigated and prosecuted if they dismiss female staff who take 90 days maternity leave.

In fact, 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. While he said there is no specific clause stating that private sector employers cannot terminate the service of a female worker for taking 90 days maternity leave, he thinks that Malaysia has to uphold the principle law which is the Federal Constitution.

On that note, he commented:“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 added at the debate on the Supply Bill 2018 at policy level for his ministry in the Senate yesterday.

During the tabling of Budget 2018, 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.

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According to Datuk Ismail, the proposed 90-day maternity leave would be in two phases; with the first phase will involve consultation with the stakeholders to get their views and feedback.

He then said that 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.

Photo / 123RF