Review of labour laws to protect pregnant women


PETALING JAYA: The human resources ministry says it is reviewing labour laws to protect pregnant women from discrimination in the workplace.

In a report in The Star today, Deputy Human Resources Minister Ismail Abd Muttalib said the Employment Act as well as 21 other labour laws would be reassessed.

“We are conducting a review to update labour laws.

“There is no law which states that it is wrong for an employer not to hire a pregnant woman. It is left to the discretion of the employer… but there must not be any discrimination,” he was quoted as saying.

Ismail was responding to Zuraida Kamaruddin (PKR-Ampang), who had asked if the government planned to introduce a Pregnancy Discrimination Act to safeguard the interests of women employees.

He added that the Labour Department would investigate any complaint of such discrimination, and that bosses who fired their pregnant employees who were on maternity leave could be fined RM10,000, the report said.

“Between 2014 and 2016, there was only one case where a woman in confinement claimed she was discriminated against. An investigation was carried out and the employer was advised against doing so,” he was reported as saying.