Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Will Giving 12 Weeks Maternity Leave Affect Productivity?

According to Bernama, a senator Monday urged the government to extend maternity leave from 60 days to 84 days or 12 weeks in line with the Maternity Protection Convention 2000, which Malaysia had ratified.

Senator Heng Seai Kei said that according to an International Labour Organisation (ILO) report, Malaysia was among 25 countries having maternity leave of only 60 days and the duration was among the shortest by international standards.

"Eighty countries have approved the duration of maternity leave to be more than 12 weeks including Singapore and Indonesia," she said when debating the royal address in the Dewan Negara, Monday.

She said the convention, passed at the ILO's 88th general assembly in 2000, stipulated that maternity leave should not be less than 14 weeks.

Heng said that although the Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil had brought up the matter to the Cabinet, it had not been approved, fearing it would affect productivity and the government administration.

"The reasons given were not justifiable and the decision ought to be reviewed for the wellbeing of women workers," said Heng.

She added that statistics from 1970 showed women made up 47 per cent of the Malaysian work force compared to 60 per cent in developed countries and they were mostly in the 19-55 age group.

***** I don't know why the government is reluctant to implement the 12 weeks leave proposal. If it has worked well in other countries there is no reason why it should not be allowed here. If we take a short-sighted view on the maternity leave duration, then it would seem that productivity and the smooth running of a department will be affected. But with contingency plans and others covering for the staff on maternity leave ideally there should be no real difficulty. The problem will only arise if too many staff go on leave at the same time. Even that question can be solved by having a judicious mixture of both genders. In the long run, a rested and mentally unencumbered mother will prove more effective than one who is harassed and tired.
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Blogger team BSG said...

omg !
the things people do to stay in power !
even the mothers to be have become some kind of goats ( scape/scrape goats )

1:28 PM GMT+8  

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