Penang approves parental leave for civil servants with children below 12 years

By Opalyn Mok
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng says the leave will enable parents to take their sick children to the clinic. — Picture by K.E. Ooi

GEORGE TOWN, March 29 — The Penang state executive council today approved a proposal to grant annual parental leave for those in the civil service with children aged below 12 years old.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who announced this decision today, said this three-day annual leave is to allow parents to take their sick children to the clinic.

“The state government can't implement this immediately because the civil service is under the Public Services Department so the exco has instructed the state secretary to apply for approval from the PSD,” Lim told a press conference at his office today.

The proposal was made to the state exco following DAP's decision yesterday to adopt the annual parental leave proposed by DAP Wanita.

Yesterday, DAP's central executive committee announced its decision to adopt the parental leave that will be granted to both mothers and fathers with children under 12 years old.

Lim said this parental leave, once approved by PSD, will apply for all civil servants in all government agencies in Penang.

The parental leave was proposed by Penang state exco Chong Eng who said that many young parents are struggling between working and caring for their children and family.

Lim said this move is to encourage more women to join the workforce.

“We need higher female labour participation rate, in Penang it is 59 per cent and the national average is 54 per cent but to achieve a high income economy, we need more than 60 per cent,” he said.

He said once PSD approved it, the final details on application for the leave will be sorted out.

Chong thanked the state exco for understanding that parents needed this to take their children to the doctor, especially those without a support system.

“This is a timely move and I hope the PSD will approve it and the federal government will also consider implementing, we consider it as a present for working parents for the upcoming Labour Day,” she said.