Labour activists want extension of maternity leave

Labour activists are lobbying for an extension of maternity leave, saying the three month holiday is just too short.

Mothers wait to have their babies weighed at the Bwaila maternity clinic, Malawi. –Photo by The Global Fund / John Rae

John Mwafulirwa of Industrial All Malawi says there was need to give mothers ample time to nurse their babies before the working mothers return to work.

“Three months is not enough to look after a baby who has just born. We need to extend the maternity holiday,” he said.

He however could not say the extension of the maternity holiday should be by how much, saying there was need for consultation on the matter.

“At three months, the baby is just too small to be left alone at home,” said Mwafulirwa.

He said employers should have in place alternatives in place to cater for prolonged absence of mothers with newly born babies.

Joseph Kamwendo (not the footballer) of the Malawi Congress of Trade Unions said this was a brilliant idea which should be put up for debate.

“This is possible, let stakeholders discuss this issue,” he said.

Officials from Employers Consultative Association of Malawi (Ecam) are yet to comment on the matter, so too officials from the ministry of Labour.

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Yes, go ahead and increase the maternity leave and then go ahead open your businesses and employ more women and see what will happen to the business. Go ahead and do that, you will make women unemployable