Maternity Leave in Malaysia: What You Need to Know

Maternity Leave in Malaysia: What You Need to Know
Jobstreet content teamupdated on 06 October, 2021
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This will give you an idea about how they value their employees’ well-being. It also shows if they comply with labour law requirements.

Among these mandatory benefits is maternity leave. In Malaysia, maternity leave is part of the healthcare benefits that female employees are eligible for, regardless of their status. With this benefit, mothers can take an absence from work with peace of mind before and after giving birth.

Maternity leave is an employee benefit provided in most countries as a statutory privilege. Meaning, employers are required by law to grant these paid days off to their employees. Among all countries, Czech Republic has the longest maternity leave period. It offers 28 weeks or seven months of paid leave.

Even if you are not yet a mother-to-be, it is still important to know the terms and details of this benefit for future reference. Not only is it something that you, a friend, or family member will find helpful. It will also set your mind at ease that a potential employer will secure your employment and current role in the company during this milestone.

Here’s a quick rundown of everything you need to know about maternity leave in Malaysia.

(Read more: Your Guide to Planning Your 2021 Annual Leaves )

What are employees in Malaysia entitled to with maternity leave?

As of 2020, the maternity leave entitlement for new mothers is not less than 60 consecutive days of fully paid leave. Companies can also extend the leave beyond this initial period, but without pay.

Beginning January 1, 2021, the new Malaysian 2020 Budget extended the maternity leave period for employees in the private sector to 90 consecutive days. This mandatory change was reportedly made to bring Malaysian maternity benefits closer to the international standard period of 98 days. It also aimed to better support both the mother and the newborn.

It is also important to note that the maternity leave only applies to a female employee’s first five surviving children.

How soon in their employment can employees qualify for maternity leave?

To qualify for maternity leave, an employee has to be working in the same company for at least 90 days. Then, the employee must also provide:

  1. A formal notice of the pregnancy; and,
  2. A planned leave at least four months before the delivery date.

The employee must send this notice to the immediate supervisor and the human resource department.

How soon can employees start maternity leave in Malaysia?

The maternity leave period cannot start earlier than 30 days before the confinement or a day later after the confinement. It is also recommended to get a doctor’s certification indicating when the maternity leave period should start.

Other important things to note

What if you will need the maternity leave benefit soon?

It is best to revisit your employment contract or employee handbook to confirm the company’s maternity leave provisions.

What should you look for in a job?

When looking around for jobs, don’t forget to check if the job ads mention maternity leave under their employee benefits. If you don’t see it there, don’t hesitate to ask the hiring manager about it.

Can you take leave for antenatal or maternity care appointments on top of maternity leave?

While the law does not have a particular guideline for this, some companies may have additional family-oriented policies that allow employees to make arrangements if necessary. Again, it is best to consult the human resources manager if this is something they can take into consideration.

Can employees return to work before their maternity leave period ends?

The law does not allow employees to waive their rights to this benefit, so they will not be forced to return to work as soon as possible. For their health and well-being, they are instead encouraged to ease into the workplace and get back to their duties at a more flexible pace.

What if the company does not provide mandatory maternity leave?

Employees can reach out to the Labour Department if the company does not provide mandatory maternity leave in Malaysia. Non-compliant companies will be fined, and the employees will receive 60 days’ worth of salary.

Still looking for the right company that looks out for the health and well-being of their employees? Create or update your JobStreet profile today and search for #JobsThatMatter. Visit the Career Resources Hub for more useful tips on job searching, self-improvement, and career advancement.

At JobStreet, we believe in bringing you #JobsThatMatter. As a Career Partner, we are committed to helping all jobseekers find passion and purpose in every career choice. And as the number 1 Talent Partner in Asia, we connect employers with the right candidates who truly make a positive and lasting impact on the organisation.

Discover Jobs That Matter. Visit JobStreet today.

About SEEK Asia
SEEK Asia, a combination of two leading brands JobStreet and JobsDB, is the leading job portal and Asia's preferred destination for candidates and hirers. SEEK Asia’s presence span across 7 countries namely Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam. SEEK Asia is part of the Australian Securities Exchange-listed SEEK Limited Company, the world's largest job portal by market capitalisation. SEEK Asia attracts over 400 million visits a year.

About SEEK Limited
SEEK is a diverse group of companies, comprising a strong portfolio of online employment, educational, commercial and volunteer businesses. SEEK has a global presence (including Australia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, South-East Asia, Brazil and Mexico), with exposure to over 2.9 billion people and approximately 27 per cent of global GDP. SEEK makes a positive contribution to people’s lives on a global scale. SEEK is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, where it is a top 100 company and has been listed in the Top 20 Most Innovative Companies by Forbes.

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