Firms should invest in female workforce
Maybank’s announcement of a fantastic maternity package for its employees on Wednesday was a positive sign that the trend is gaining traction among local companies.
Besides Maybank, which offers an extended maternity leave of up to 365 days with variable pay, other companies that offer maternity leave benefits include Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd, Celcom Axiata Bhd, Nestle Malaysia Bhd, IBM Malaysia, Petronas and Shell Malaysia.
Last year, Digi adopted a sixmonth paid maternity leave, while Celcom extended its paid maternity leave to 75 days, with the option to choose unpaid leave for up to six months.
Nestle offers female employees a minimum of 14 weeks’ paid maternity leave, with the option to extend it up to six months.
Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun said the ministry welcomed the announcement by Maybank and called for more private companies to follow suit.
She said companies should invest in their female workforce by offering them benefits, and, in return, enjoy the success, loyalty and productivity they offer.
“Maybank sees that in order for their female employees to work well and be productive, they have to be given ample time (to recover) after giving birth.
“I urge other companies to offer benefits like this if they want better staff and garner better profit in future.”
Azizah said women are known to be committed, hardworking and loyal, and this was why they must be given the space and time to take care of their health and that of their family after giving birth.
She also called for private companies to emulate the civil sector’s policy of granting a minimum of 90 days maternity leave, which at present stood at around 60 days.
“Private companies should also look into providing childcare centres at their workplace to ensure mothers are able to leave their children in capable hands while they work.
“Investing in the female work force will lead them to reciprocate with better performance.”