Thursday, February 2

MEF urged to reconsider length of paternity leave


Dr Wan Azizah (centre) visits the exhibition hall after officiating Perak International Expo 2019 at Indera Mulia Stadium yesterday. — Bernama photo

IPOH: The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) has been urged to reconsider the decision to only grant paternity leave for three days instead of seven days to husbands whose wives have given birth.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the granting of paternity leave was to enable the employers and workers to achieve a win-win situation between one another.

“It is certainly one of the things that we were thinking of, we have to give a win-win situation, we want more couples to have babies and if possible, the fathers are given leave while the wives are delivering.

“We have to think (of the paternity leave), we will discuss how to follow the recommendation that the government had made, if it is seven days then it is good that the fathers (working in the private sector) get leave,” she told reporters after officiating the closing ceremony of the 2019 Perak International Expo (PIEX 2019), here yesterday.

She said this when commenting further on the MEF statement that only agreed three days be given as paternity leave for husbands working in the private sector and not seven days as suggested by the Federal government.

On Nov 14, MEF Executive Director, Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said the agreement to grant the three-day leave had been discussed at the latest meeting with the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) and based on the principle that the cost of financing the leave of the workers concerned was not fully borne by the employer.

Explaining further, Dr Wan Azizah who is also the Women, Family and Community Development Minister said that through the seven-day paternity leave, it could also boost workers’ productivity.

Last Wednesday, Human Resource Minister M Kula Segaran said that he planned to present the application for paternity leave to the Cabinet because for the past 62 years, paternity had not been given attention and it was an initial move for better changes.

Commenting on PIEX 2019, the Deputy Prime Minister said Perak must think of ways to sell its products or goods continuously after an expo was held such as being implemented by China.

“They (China) has a special place to exhibit or sell their goods to enable the public to buy directly the various products and goods exhibited at the expo,” she said.

Earlier in her speech, Dr Wan Azizah said PIEX 2019 which was being held for the first time managed to attract more domestic and foreign investors to expand their businesses besides encouraging tourism in Perak.

She said the program, which succeeded in drawing about 20,000 visitors had merged four main components namely the Pangkor Dialogue, Pride of Perak (POP), Perak Start-up Festival and the 2019 International Halal Expo. — Bernama