We welcome the statement by Human Resources Minister M. Saravanan that seven days of paternity leave will be included in the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2021.
Currently, working fathers in Malaysia are not legally entitled to any paternity leave.
As a result, many fathers cannot be with their wives and newborns during and after childbirth to provide support and carry out their responsibilities.
The government has proposed amending the Employment Act to introduce three days of paid paternity leave. This is not enough.
Therefore, we commend the minister’s decision to increase the paternity leave period to seven days in the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2021, and call on Members of Parliament to support this provision when the Bill is tabled in the Dewan Rakyat this month.
This seven-day period will apply to private sector employees, and is consistent with what fathers in the public sector currently enjoy.
Various studies have shown that children with involved fathers have better social, emotional and cognitive development, and perform better in school.
Introducing paternity leave also sends the message that caregiving is a shared responsibility. Such changes in social norms would help women stay in the workforce.
Many countries have paternity leave. According to a 2014 International Labour Organization report, 79 out of 167 countries have laws that provide paternity leave. The Philippines and Singapore have two weeks of paid paternity leave.
Adequate paternity leave will benefit children, families, and the nation. It’s time for Malaysia to move forward as well.
- Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO)
- Agora Society Malaysia
- All Women’s Action Society (AWAM)
- Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM)
- Architects of Diversity (AOD)
- Association of Toy Libraries Msia
- Association of Women Lawyers (AWL)
- Childline Foundation
- Consumers Association of Penang
- Demokrat Kebangsaan
- EMPOWER Malaysia
- Family Frontiers
- Friends of Sungei Klang Taman Melawati River Three
- Gerakan Belia Se-Punjabi Malaysia (GBSM)
- Justice for Sisters
- Kesatuan Pekerja-Pekerja PKNS
- KRYSS Network
- Lyceum Society
- Malay Forest Officers Union (MFOU)
- Malaysia Youths and Students Evolution Johor Branch
- Malaysian Digital Economy Consumers Association
- National Council of Women’s Organisations Malaysia (NCWO)
- National Union of Transport Equipment & Allied Industries Workers
- NEW ERA UNIVERSITY COLLEGE
- New Student Movement Alliance of Malaysia
- Perak Women for Women Society
- Persatuan Pengasuh Berdaftar Malaysia (PPBM)
- Persatuan Pengguna Klang
- Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor
- Pertubahan Wanita Malaysia untuk Kawalan Tembakau dan Kesihatan
- Pertubuhan Generasi Aspirasi Pemimpin Wanita Malaysia (GAP.MY)
- Pertubuhan IKRAM Malaysia
- Pertubuhan Jal Ehwal dan Pelindung Pengguna Sabah (CAPS)
- Pertubuhan Usahawan Wanita Millennium Malaysia
- Purplelily Social Association Kuching
- Sabah Timber Employees Union (STIEU)
- Sabah Timber Industry Employees Union
- Sabah Women’s Action-Resource Group (SAWO)
- Sahabat Alam Malaysia
- Sarawak Women For Women Society(SWWS)
- Sisters in Islam (SIS)
- Society for Equality, Respect And Trust for All Sabah (SERATA)
- Society for the Promotion of Human Rights ( PROHAM)
- Sustainable Development Network Malaysia (SUSDEN Malaysia)
- Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy
- The 111 Initiative
- The KLSCAH Women Division
- Third World Network
- Union of Forestry Employees Sarawak (UFES)
- Women’s Centre for Change (WCC)