Komitmen kerajaan mengenai pindaan Akta Pekerjaan disambut baik (Malay/English)

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[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) menyambut baik kenyataan oleh Timbalan Menteri Sumber Manusia Awang Hashim bahawa pindaan terhadap Akta Pekerjaan akan merangkumi cuti paterniti, cuti bersalin dipanjangkan, perlindungan terhadap gangguan seksual, dan waktu kerja yang anjal.

Pengumuman itu dibuat di Dewan Rakyat pada 29 Julai dan menyambung usaha yang dilakukan oleh kerajaan sebelum ini bagi meminda Akta Pekerjaan.

Komitmen WAO terhadap pindaan Akta Pekerjaan termasuklah tujuh hari cuti paterniti, 98 hari cuti bersalin berbayar, perlindungan anti-diskriminasi bagi pekerja dan pencari kerja, dan perlindungan pemberhentian kerja berasaskan kehamilan.

Tujuh hari cuti paterniti berbayar – #7daysForDads

Kami menggesa agar kerajaan memperkenakan sekurang-kurangnya tujuh hari cuti paternity berbayar kepada bapa yang bekerja di sektor swasta – sepertimana yang dinikmati oleh pekerja di sektor awam. Tiga hari cuti paterniti – seperti yang dibincangkan – adalah tidak mencukupi.

Tujuh hari cuti paterniti berbayar ini membolehkan para bapa memainkan peranan yang lebih proaktif ketika anak mereka dilahirkan dan untuk bersama dengan mereka pada hari-hari pertama yang kritikal ketika ibu melalui proses pemulihan.

Dengan memperkenalkan cuti paterniti ini sekaligus memberi mesej yang jelas bahawa tugas menjaga anak adalah tanggungjawab bersama. Perubahan norma sosial seperti ini akan membantu wanita untuk kekal dalam tenaga kerja. Laporan Bank Dunia 2012 menganggarkan bahawa jika Malaysia mahu menghapuskan jurang gender dalam partisipasi tenaga kerja, pendapatan per kapita perlu meningkat sebanyak 16%. Khazanah Research Institute menganggarkan seramai 2,563,800 wanita di Malaysia tidak bekerja kerana “kerja rumah atau tanggungjawab keluarga” – berbanding dengan lelaki sebanyak 69,800.

Perlindungan pencari-kerja dari diskriminasi

Kami juga menggesa agar kerajaan memasukkan perlindungan anti-diskriminasi untuk pekerja dan pencari-kerja – yang berasaskan gender, kaum, agama, keupayaan dan ciri-ciri lain.

READ MORE:  Vast majority of Malaysians favour policies supporting workplace gender equality - Survey

Ini akan membantu mewujudkan perlindungaan terhadap diskriminasi yang berasaskan gender, kaum dan agama dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan, dan perlindungan terhadap diskriminasi berasaskan keupayan seperti dalam Konvensyen Hak Orang Kurang Upaya, yang telah ditandatangani oleh kerajaan.

Selepas berlakunya pandemic Covid-19, wanita semakin dibebani dengan tugas kerja rumah yang tidak berbayar dan terpaksa memikul tanggungjawab peribadi dan professional. Ini menyebabkan peruntukan anti-diskriminasi sangat penting dan lebih kritikal untuk memastikan wanita mampu terus kekal dalam tenaga kerja.

English version

WAO welcomes government’s commitment to amend Employment Act and repeats call for seven days’ paternity leave and job-seeker protection

Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) welcomes Deputy Human Resources Minister Awang Hashim’s statement that amendments to the Employment Act would include paternity leave, extended maternity leave, protection against sexual harassment and flexible working hours.

The announcement was made in the Dewan Rakyat on 29 July and follows efforts made by previous governments to amend employment laws.

WAO’s ongoing calls for amendments to the Employment Act have included seven days of paid paternity leave, 98 days of paid maternity leave, anti-discrimination protection for both employees and job seekers, and protection from termination on the basis of pregnancy.

Seven days of paid paternity leave – #7DaysForDads

We urge the government to introduce at least seven days of paid paternity leave for fathers working in the private sector – the same as what public sector workers currently enjoy. Three days – as had been previously discussed – is simply not enough.

Seven days of paid paternity leave would enable fathers to play a more active role when their child is born and to bond with them in those critical first days while the mother is recovering.

READ MORE:  Employment Act: Anti-discrimination provisions must extend to job seekers and include disability status

Introducing paternity leave also sends the message that caregiving is a shared responsibility. Such changes in social norms would help women stay in the workforce. A 2012 World Bank report estimates that if Malaysia was to eliminate the gender gap in workforce participation, income per capita could increase by 16%. Khazanah Research Institute estimates that a whopping 2,563,800 women in Malaysia were not working due to “housework or family responsibilities” – compared to just 69,800 men.

WAO disseminated a petition for seven days of paid paternity leave, which garnered over 40,000 signatures. The petition was handed over to the former human resources minister in November 2019, and he had committed to proposing seven days to the cabinet.

Protecting job-seekers from discrimination

We also urge the government to include anti-discrimination protection for both employees and job seekers – on the grounds of gender, race, religion, disability and other characteristics.

This would help make a reality protection against discrimination on the basis of gender, race, and religion in the Federal Constitution, and protection against discrimination on the basis of disability in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which Malaysia has ratified.

In the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, women are increasingly burdened with unpaid care work and forced to further juggle personal and professional responsibilities. This makes anti-discrimination provisions even more critical to keeping women in the workforce.

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