Kudos CIMB! 30-day paternity leave a game changer

Written by: Razman F | 19 Jun 2017 12:49
The father's constant presence during post childbirth goes a long way for both mom and child
Written by:
19 Jun 2017 12:49

For the menfolk in CIMB Berhad, Father’s Day yesterday would have been an extra sweet celebration.

Their management couldn’t have picked a more significant day to announce its new enhanced paternity leave benefits for their male staff.

In case you missed out on the news, all male staff of CIMB now are entitled to a whole month of paternity leave for first-time dads.

That’s right, 30 days.

The decision, CIMB said, is to give its first-time fathers more time to spend with their firstborn, and share parental responsibilities with their spouses.

“This is in tandem with CIMB's efforts to continuously improve employee welfare through gender-balanced policies,” it said.
CIMB’s decision is a major milestone as far as employment benefits in Malaysia is concerned.

In fact, this is a move that all Malaysian employers, especially major corporations on the fact that they can afford it, should have undertaken years ago in tandem with changes happening globally.

Ask any first-time parent and they will relate the challenges they have to go through.
Urban couples have it extra hard as many couples sometimes don’t have the luxury of having their parents, family members or domestic helpers care for them during the initial stages of confinement.

Not many understand what goes on post-childbirth. It is normally during this period that couples face an extremely stressful time.

The new mom would be already going through so much physically and mentally, and having the child’s father by her side would go a long way to ease her mind and focus fully on her newborn and her own healing.

The first two weeks would see much to be done – adjustments need to be made to welcome the new addition, the strong likelihood that the child would return to the hospital for jaundice, the constant running to the shops to purchase essentials for mother and child.

All these you don’t expect the caregivers to do. You would expect the dads to be at the forefront of these sort of responsibilities. It is also his child and responsibility after all.

The concept of a lengthy paternity leave is not something new in the West.
Most Scandinavian nations have long recognised the need for fathers to play an active role in post-maternity care.

Some employers take it out own their own to provide this benefit, even allowing fathers to take sabbaticals as long as they want to care for their child.

But we don’t have to look too far beyond the pond. While we do not have mandatory laws for paternity leave, a majority of Malaysian companies provide three days.

In Singapore, and even in the Philippines, it's mandatory to provide fathers seven full days of paternity leave.

CIMB’s decision should be lauded as a major breakthrough for all Malaysian employees.

More importantly, with all the horror stories we keep hearing about how insensitive and Scrooge-like some Malaysian employers can be, CIMB’s move is a truly a caring one and shines like a beacon. 

A decision that augers well for a progressive nation in the making and a nation that cares for its people.

CIMB’s priceless Father’s Day git has now certainly paved the way and set the benchmark for other employers to follow suit.





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