KUALA LUMPUR, March 8 — The government is looking into extending the work from home (WFH) arrangement for both public and private sector staff and giving full pay to enable workers to care for an ailing family member, or in the case of men, to help their wives look after a newborn child.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the move was to encourage shared responsibility and enable women to remain in employment as well as increase women’s work productivity.
“I suggest that the Public Service Department and the Human Resource Ministry look into the feasibility of extending this facility,” he said in his pre-recorded Women’s Day 2021 speech broadcast over several television networks today.
The Prime Minister said the government was also looking into extending the WFH arrangement to workers whose spouses have just died, as matters related to the loss of loved ones normally took time to be settled.
Muhyiddin also strongly urged all parties concerned to ensure the provision of a safe working environment, including taking measures to prevent sexual harassment in the work place.
“(They must) also ensure that all aspects of planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation are based on gender-responsive budget analysis,” he said.
He also called on the public and private sectors to take advantage of government grants for the establishment of childcare centres (TASKA) at their work premises, which he said would give a multiplier effect for many parties.
In addition, in line with the theme “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world” as announced by UN Women for International Women’s Day 2021 celebration, Muhyiddin said women’s voices should be heard at a higher level, and they should be included as decision makers, in accordance with their areas of expertise.
On business facilities for women, the Prime Minister said under MyDIGITAL and the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint, the government would provide incentives called MyKasih Kapital.
“… this is a business capital injection for businesses such as e-commerce or dropship with a maximum capital of RM1,000 each for at least 2,000 eligible recipients,” he said.
The government will also set up the WAJA Squad with the participation of women in the community to provide psychosocial support and raise awareness on criminal issues to stop violence against women, as well as strengthen public knowledge on women’s rights.