KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Cabinet may discuss, by the end of the year, calls for the implementation of seven-day paternity leave for the private sector, said Human Resources Minister M Kula Segaran on Wednesday (Nov 13).
He said this is a baby step for changes in the future as paternity leave had not been a concern in the private sector since the country achieved independence 62 years ago.
The government is already in the midst of considering a proposal for three-day paternity leave.
“More than three days, this is a consideration. I will be putting forward to the Cabinet for the necessary action,” he told reporters outside the Parliament building.
“The discussion is just over with stakeholders. We hope maybe by this December we can take the proposal to the Cabinet,” he added.
“We are very firm that this is in the right direction; it should be moved and get approved as soon as possible.”
His comments came after the Women's Aid Organisation (WAO) had handed over a petition on paternity leave in the private sector.
Currently, there's no paternity leave for those employed in the private sector.
When asked if the private sector had to obey the seven-day paternity leave if it is implemented, he said: “Yes, compulsory, not an option for them (private sector).”
Also present to express their support during the WAO petition handover were Women, Family and Community Development Deputy Minister Hannah Yeoh, Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil and Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin.
The WAO petition, begun in June 2019 to call for at least seven days of paternity leave in the private sector, has garnered 39,340 signatures.