Malaysian minister issues warning to employers

The nation’s deputy minister of HR said employers can be prosecuted if they make this mistake

Malaysian minister issues warning to employers
Malaysia’s deputy minister of HR has warned employers about dismissing female staff who take 90 days maternity leave, saying they could face investigation and prosecution for doing so.

“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,” said Datuk Seri Ismail Abd Muttalib.

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

Ismail was speaking in the Senate when he made the comments and urged anyone to come forward if they thought someone had been unfairly terminated due to pregnancy or maternity leave.

“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.

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 – matching the public sector.

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.

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