Call to provide childcare centres

KUALA LUMPUR: The government should amend labour laws to ensure that all employers provide childcare centres or nurseries for working mothers.

Malaysian Trades Union Congress president Datuk Abdul Halim Mansor said this is a long-standing issue that needs immediate action.

He said employers should at least provide nursing rooms for women returning to work after their confinement periods.

"The government should make amendments to the law or establish a new law to make it compulsory for employers to provide childcare centres" he told theSun.

Abdul Halim said employers should provide necessary facilities or put in place suitable policies to ensure that working mothers' needs are taken care of.

"For example, mothers should be allowed to work from home for one month immediately after the confinement period and also be allowed to work from home one month before the delivery," he said.

Abdul Halim commended CIMB Group Holdings Berhad's new work-from-home policy for one day per week for mothers with children under five years.

He said CIMB has made a responsible decision and created a new culture for employment.

Abdul Halim said employers should be more "mother-friendly" at workplaces by emulating CIMB's move and consider seriously on setting up Child Care Centres at workplaces.

CIMB's policy, which is believed to be the first in the country, is set to benefit some 3,300 of the 10,000 women working for CIMB Malaysia.

The company has 17,000 employees.