Malaysia raises paternity leave to seven days

Malaysia's Parliament has amended the Employment Act, which will extend the three-day paternity leave to seven days.
By: | May 19, 2022

Working fathers are eligible for paternity leave for up to five children. They must also have worked at the company for at least 12 months to be entitled to such leave, under the amendment that was given the nod in March.

Prior to this, the private sector in Malaysia did not recognise paternity leave, with only civil servants given seven days’ paternity leave.

While some fathers feel that seven days is too short, others believe the number of days would be sufficient to help their spouses settle down with a new addition to their families.

Earlier, a group of 50 NGOs in Malaysia had said, “This new proposed seven-day period will apply to all private sector employees and will be consistent with what fathers in the public sector currently enjoy.” The move will also send a message that childcare is a shared responsibility and such changes to social norms would help women remain in the workforce, they added.

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The Malaysian Parliament also approved an amendment to increase maternity leave from 60 days to 98 days in the case of private sector employees and 90 days for civil servants, in keeping with International Labour Organisation recommendations.