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(File pix) The country’s 1.6 million civil servants can expect twelve new initiatives to benefit them beginning next year. One of them is maternity leave which will be increased from 300 to 360 days. Pix by ROSELA ISMAIL

KUALA LUMPUR: The country’s 1.6 million civil servants can expect twelve new initiatives to benefit them beginning next year, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today.

Najib, who is also finance minister, said pregnant working women can go on leave as early as five months into their pregnancy.

He also said male civil servants will be allowed to go home an hour earlier to accompany their pregnant wives.

“The only condition is that the husband and wife must be working in a nearby location.

“The total maternity leave will also increased from 300 to 360 days throughout their service, which is limited to a maximum of 90 days a year,” he said when tabling the 2018 Budget in Parliament.

Najib said public servants will now work from 9am to 6pm to provide them with more flexibility.

He added that the government will introduce a second time-based promotion for support staff who received their previous promotion 13 years ago.

“The government will also provide benefits to civil servants who retire over medical reasons,” he said, adding that the benefits will be similar to those enjoyed by civil servants who reach the compulsory retirement age.

“Civil servants are also allowed to receive a cash reward in lieu of the accumulated leave of more than 150 days, to be taken during their retirement year.”

He said the number of special leaves for education officers will increased from seven to 10 a year.

“Civil servants are also allowed to take up to seven days’ unrecorded leave throughout their service to perform the umrah.”

Medical specialists in Grade UD54, meanwhile, will be given a flexible work schedule for one day every week.

“They must, however, serve a minimum of four years and meet certain requirements.”

Najib said the government will introduce in-house Masters and PhD programmes for civil servants to encourage lifelong learning in the public sector.

More than 50,000 retirees with at least 25 years of service, he added, will be given a minimum pension of RM1,000 per month.

“The medical benefit for retirees has been expanded to include their parents as well,” he said, adding that all these measures will take effect from Jan 1 2018.

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