KUALA LUMPUR (June 14): The Women's Aid Organisation (WAO) today called for the introduction of at least seven days of paternity leave in the private sector in light of the upcoming amendments to the Employment Act.
WAO executive director Sumitra Vivanathan said currently, fathers in the private sector were not legally entitled to any paternity leave while fathers in the public sector were enjoying seven days of paid paternity leave.
"The Ministry of Human Resources should introduce at least seven days of paternity leave in the private sector, similar to the current paternity leave in the public sector," she said in a statement.
She said the Ministry has announced the proposed amendments to the Employment Act which included three days of paid paternity leave.
Sumitra said paternity leave was crucial in promoting shared responsibility among couple which benefits fathers, mothers, and children.
It would also enable fathers to play an active role during childbirth and also to adjust the monumental life changes that come with being a father, Sumitra said.
According to 2014 International Labour Organisation report, she said 79 out of 165 countries had laws that provide for paternity leave. Both the Philippines and Singapore have two weeks of paid paternity leave.
Thus, she said WAO had launched a petition calling for at least seven days of paternity leave which was available at bit.ly/right4parents.