Employers want govt to pay for seven-day paternity leave, says minister

Human Resources Minister M Kula Segaran says the ministry’s recommendations on paternity leave will be submitted to the Cabinet by next month.

IPOH: Private sector employers are willing to grant a seven-day paternity leave to workers if the government pays their salary for the period, Human Resources Minister M Kula Segaran said.

He said this was the feedback received when the ministry held discussions with the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) as part of consultations with stakeholders on the proposal to implement a seven-day paternity leave for workers whose wives have just delivered.

Kula Segaran said the ministry was expected to table its recommendations to the Cabinet by next month.

“We have received many complaints and objections because some want paternity leave while other parties do not agree.

“Most newborns have jaundice and this requires close care by both parents.

“Furthermore, there are certain procedures to follow in the registration of births and all this takes time,” he told reporters after speaking at the Startup Festival 2019 in conjunction with the Perak International Expo 2019 here today.

On Nov 13, the Women’s Aid Organisation handed over a petition to the ministry asking for the implementation of a seven-day paternity leave in the private sector.

Meanwhile, Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said the granting of a seven-day paternity leave could help mothers cope with postpartum depression.

This should be given attention because women needed all the help and support they can get after giving birth, he said after an event at KPJ Ipoh Specialist Hospital today.