Forcing an employee out of the company for being pregnant is not only discriminatory but also a violation of labour laws say Malaysian women
According to All Women’s Action Society Malaysia (Awam), employers tend to have the perception that women become unproductive once they were pregnant.
“But this is completely unacceptable and it shows that the companies are ignorant about labour laws,” said senior programme officer Abigail De Vries.
She said a number of women had approached Awam over the years with similar issues.
“The problem is not uncommon but more should be done to eradicate discrimination of women at the workplace,” De Vries added.
Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) said it condemned employers who discriminated against women because of their gender.
“Dismissing a female employee because she is pregnant, or treating her so badly that she sees no other option but to resign, is punishing a woman for claiming her reproductive rights,” said WAo’s programme officer Sarah Thwaites, adding the government currently does not monitor the extent of this trend of forcing pregnant women out of their jobs.
“The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry and the Labour Department should encourage women who have been discriminated against to come forward and make complaints to their offices throughout the country,” she said.
Thwaites added that employers needed to know that they may face legal repercussions as everyone had the right to work and raise a family without being bullied and discriminated against.