Introduce 7 Days of Paternity Leave in Malaysia
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Currently, working fathers in Malaysia are not legally entitled to any paternity leave.
The Ministry of Human Resources has proposed amending the Employment Act to introduce 3 days of paid paternity leave.
This is not enough. Fathers need more time to care for their newborn and wife.
Thus, we urge the Ministry of Human Resources to introduce at least 7 days of paternity leave in the private sector. This is what fathers in the public sector currently enjoy.
Various studies show 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. A 2012 World Bank report estimates that if Malaysia were to eliminate the gender gap in workforce participation, income per capita could increase by 16 per cent.
The Khazanah Research Institute estimates that a whopping 2,563,800 women in Malaysia were not working due to “housework or family responsibilities” – compared to just 69,800 men.
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. It is time for Malaysia to move forward as well.
Call upon the Ministry of Human Resources to introduce at least 7 days of paternity leave in the private sector!
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