Dads welcome more paternity leave days


Muhd Nazri says each newborn has different behaviours and needs so each time is a new experience for parents.

Having a newborn baby is a momentous occasion but for some fathers, the joy and excitement are sometimes lost in the flurry to get things done in the short amount of time granted through paternity leave allotted by companies.

IT executive Nur Danial Ibrahim, who welcomed his first child – a baby girl – on April 14, said a seven-day paternity leave allotment for the private sector would have been beneficial for a new dad like him.

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“The arrival of a new family member has turned my wife’s and my world around and as a first-time father, it takes time to adjust.

“The three-day paternity leave I had was just too short for a new dad like me to be with my wife and baby as everything is a new experience at this point.

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“If dads want to extend paternity leave, it has to be taken from our annual leave, which should be kept for other occasions.

“Aside from helping my wife around the house as she is in confinement, I have to run errands such as registering my baby at the National Registration Department.

“These things take a lot of time,” the 29-year-old said.

He said he looked forward to a seven-day paternity leave if he was blessed with a second child in the future, as last month, the Dewan Rakyat approved amendments to the Employment Act, guaranteeing working fathers in Malaysia at least seven days of paternity leave per child.

Nur Danial: A seven-day paternity leave allotment for the private sector is beneficial for a new dad.Nur Danial: A seven-day paternity leave allotment for the private sector is beneficial for a new dad.

This applies to fathers in the private sector as civil servants were already given seven days of paternity leave for up to five children, regardless of the number of wives.

The fathers must have also worked at the company for at least 12 months to be eligible for paternity leave.

ALSO READ: Longer leave moulds better family relations for long-term benefits

The Dewan Rakyat also approved an amendment to increase maternity leave from 60 to 98 days in the case of private sector employees and 90 days for civil servants, in keeping with International Labour Organisation recommendations.

Meanwhile, father-of-two Muhd Nazri Azmi, 34, says the increase from three to seven days was an improvement but one week was still considered short.

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The social media editor, whose son was born seven months ago, felt that the ideal number should be 14.

“Mums need a lot of postpartum attention too, especially those who went through difficult deliveries.

Besides tending to the infant, I also want to support my wife physically and mentally.

“More paternity leave days will definitely give dads more time to also respond to any health concerns the newborn might have,” he said, adding that each newborn had different needs so each time was a new experience for parents.

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