LABOUR laws are being reviewed to prevent pregnant women from being discriminated against by employers.
Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Abd Muttalib said his ministry was looking at the Employment Act and 21 existing labour laws to improve worker welfare and curb gender discrimination.
“We are conducting a review to update labour laws,’’ he told Zuraida Kamaruddin (PKR-Ampang).
Presently, he said there was no provision in the labour law that specifically dealt with discrimination against pregnant women.
“There is no law which states that it is wrong for an employer not to hire a pregnant woman. It is left to the discretion of the employer … but there must not be any discrimination,” he said.
Ismail said the Labour Department would investigate any complaint lodged against such discrimination.
“Between 2014 and 2016, there was only one case where a woman in confinement claimed she was discriminated against. An investigation was carried out and the employer was advised against doing so,’’ he added.
Ismail warned employers who terminated their pregnant employees who were on maternity leave, that they could face a RM10,000 fine.
He also said that there were currently 209,000 unemployed women workers.
Zuraida wanted to know if the Government planned to introduce a Pregnancy Discrimination Act to better protect women employees.