Parliament reduces sick leave to 15 days per year

Parliament reduces sick leave to 15 days per year

The Parliament, on Sunday, approved the reduction of sick leave days granted to workers, without the submission of a medical certificate, from the present 30 to a total of 15 days only.

The provision was included under an amendment to the Employment Act, green-lit by 55 parliamentarians during Sunday's session.

Initially, the terms of the amendment proposed mandatory submission of medical certificates if employees applied for a single day of sick leave.

However, in response to expressions of concern by the public, the provision was altered during the committee stage, allowing employees to take 15 days of sick leave per year, provided that they were not absent for two or more consecutive days.

As per the report compiled by the Joint Committee consisting of the Committee on Social Affairs and the Committee on Economic Affairs, employees were likely to experience difficulties in complying to the initial proposal.

In addition to public opinion, the Joint Committee sought input from major employers in Maldives before finalising the changes.

Previously, the Employment Act granted employees 30 days of sick leave without mandating the submission of a medical certificate, provided that workers were not absent for two or more consecutive days.

Despite being initially submitted by the representative for Noonu Atoll's Kendhikulhudhoo constituency, Ahmed Easa, the later iteration was proposed by Addu City’s Hulhudhoo constituency since MP Easa was not present at the amendment's first reading.

Although the amendment was passed with more lenient provisions than the initial proposal, public reception regarding the reduction of total sick leave days was unfavorable, with several expressing discontent on social media channels.