Maternity Leave

Check out the link above.  In summary- Standard Chartered introduced a 20-week fully paid maternity leave for female employees, whereas male employees will be entitled to a 2 week paid maternity leave.

Laws on Maternity Leave

The Employment Act provides that ALL female employees are entitled to maternity leave of 60 consecutive days.  Therefore, maternity leave is guaranteed by statute / law.  The only question that arise is whether the female employee can still receive her salary if she takes that 60 days off.  

Those female employees who satisfy the eligibility requirements will ALSO be entitled to maternity allowance during the maternity leave.  If the female employee DOES NOT meet the eligibility requirements, then SHE IS STILL ENTITLED TO MATERNITY LEAVE, but she will not get her maternity allowance. 

What is maternity allowance?  It is NOT something that is in addition to the salary.  A female employee who gets her monthly salary during her maternity leave is deemed to have received her maternity allowance.  Therefore in that context, maternity allowance = monthly salary.

In order to be eligible to maternity allowance, the 3 requirements are:-

  • The female employee must have worked with the employer for at least 90 days during the pregnancy period; AND
  • The female employee was in employment with the employer ‘at any time’ during the 4 months preceding confinement; AND
  • The female employee does not have 5 or more surviving children.


While the rights of a female employee in relation to maternity leave are  set out in law, Paternity Leave remains somewhat of a “new” concept in Malaysia.  There is a proposal to amend the laws to provide a minimum 3 days for fathers.  Unless and until the legislature / Parliament actually puts something concrete into place, the granting of Paternity Leave will remain at the sole discretion of the employers.


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