Firms should in­vest in fe­male work­force

New Straits Times - - News -

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.”

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