BANGI: Employers should play their role by addressing issues on married couples having to stay apart due to work commitments, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
She said employers could, among others, provide flexible working hours for such married employees, hence giving them more time to be with their families.
This could be done, she said, by allowing an employee to work extra hours every day and to give leave or days off after fulfilling the minimum weekly working hours, for example.
“By doing so, employees staying away from their spouses will have time to go back to their families,” Bernama quoted her as telling reporters after closing the Welfare Department’s Junior Khalifah programme here.
She was commenting on a newspaper report which stated that more than 500,000 married couples in the country were staying apart or away from their spouses due to work commitments.
Dr Wan Azizah, who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister, said it was the government’s intention to address the problem, where implementation would depend on the wisdom of employers.
At a separate event, Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh said major festivities such as Hari Raya, Chinese New Year and Deepavali were opportunities to further unite Malaysians by celebrating such occasions together.
Efforts by two residents associations in Segambut – which comprise mostly non-Malays – in putting together a large-scale public Hari Raya celebration won the praise of Yeoh, who said that others should emulate them.
“This is good progress and a very interesting trend, whereby other races take the effort to understand the cultures of others,” she said when met at the open house yesterday.
Also present at the event was Dr Wan Azizah.