Reasons for/against mandatory paid maternity leave?

For men or women?

By mandatory I mean that companies must give the option of paid maternity leave, which does not necessarily mean that the employee must take it and use it.

Suggestions for making it somewhat more viable in the U.S...reduced pay by a certain percentage? As absurd to some as it may sound, it could be reasonable to submit a "proof of care" to demonstrate that the parent is actively raising the child. (For instance if a parent runs out on the family, gives the kid up for adoption, etc)

I'm curious to know how other people view it all?

Personally I think there are far more pros than cons.
-Builds a bond between parent and child
-Does not over stress the parents( stress can lead to health issues, divorce, reduced productivity)
-reduces fatigue (see above parenthesis)
-Reduces financial stress of having to find and pay for daycare or a babysitter

There are cons though, off the top of my head
-Employees are being paid for work they have not done(which is a thoroughly "un-American" thing to do in the eyes of many. But more reasonably can be a problem for smaller companies in process of growing)
-Employees could abuse the system(Not sure exactly how beyon stupid)

3 people in my office are about to drop kids. I say if you're able to do work whilst growing a human being; you should at least have the option to take maternity leave.

My sister got awesome maternity leave before she even gave birth. Namely because she was fired a few weeks after her employer found out she had a bun in the uterus. She wound up enjoying time off from work when the baby came around a few months later, and found a much better job a few months after that.

Personal anecdotes aside, there needs to be some form of maternity leave. Giving birth itself is pretty exhausting/major surgery. And I don't know anyone who thinks it's a good idea to have children raised predominately by daycare employees.

I think New Jersey has 6 weeks of 66% salary maternity leave. Seems a bit slim, I'd say 8 weeks at half pay is a good starting point.

I'm quite satisfied in how we have it (Sweden) We have 16months off for each kid (The minority parent,usually the father needs to take at least 2 months off or they are removed) at 80% of normal salary if I do not recall wrong and it's paid by the state

-As part of a general plan to stimulate natality, while the government pays for it? Great.
-Making the company for it? It sucks and you help nobody. Don't do it.

As far as I understand it, in the Netherlands, the company is forced to pay for it, so a lot of (especially smaller) companies refuse to hire 20/30-year old women.

Tubez:
I'm quite satisfied in how we have it (Sweden) We have 16months off for each kid (The minority parent,usually the father needs to take at least 2 months off or they are removed) at 80% of normal salary if I do not recall wrong and it's paid by the state

We have it similiar in Denmark. Mother is entitled to 14 weeks of Maternity leave while the father is entitled to 5-7. As I recall. Then they can split 52 weeks between them how want, full salary paid by state.

Danyal:
-As part of a general plan to stimulate natality, while the government pays for it? Great.
-Making the company for it? It sucks and you help nobody. Don't do it.

As far as I understand it, in the Netherlands, the company is forced to pay for it, so a lot of (especially smaller) companies refuse to hire 20/30-year old women.

Yeah, I agree with this. Making companies pick up the bill can only be a bad choice as it will invariably introduce some degree of unwarranted bias into the hiring/firing process.

That's the financial side of it, anyway, although I could also see why a company might think twice about headhunting that hot new (female) talent at a crucial point in the companies' expansion, if all signs pointed to aforementioned lady swanning off halfway through the project to go forth and multiply. From a business point of view it's virtualy indistinguishable from a male employee deciding to take a sabbatical year. How that could be addressed, I'm not sure. Would a "don't get knocked up" clause in the contract be enforceable, let alone ethical?

it should cover both men and women and be paid by the government via general or business taxation.

anything else and it is unfair on small businesses as mentioned by Danyal.

the fact you make it available to both takes the sexism issue out of the hiring process and besides the fact men treated as non party to the process is an anachronism that could do with being stamped on if only from a prenatal care pov.

also if either parent wishes to leave work after a birth (to become a housewife/husband) they should not be penalized in any way via any system in place for doing so.

the fact companies seem treat human beings as meat bag machines in general should be stamped on.
human beings have kids: its not new, its not a surprise and its not out the ordinary in any way.

expecting otherwise is the flaw not someone in your employ having a kid.

Sleekit:
it should cover both men and women and be paid by the government via general or business taxation.

anything else and it is unfair on small businesses as mentioned by Danyal.

the fact you make it available to both takes the sexism issue out of the hiring process and besides the fact men treated as non party to the process is an anachronism that could do with being stamped on if only from a prenatal care pov.

also if either parent wishes to leave work after a birth (to become a housewife/husband) they should not be penalized in any way via any system in place for doing so.

the fact companies seem treat human beings as meat bag machines in general should be stamped on.
human beings have kids: its not new, its not a surprise and its not out the ordinary in any way.

expecting otherwise is the flaw not someone in your employ having a kid.

Nail on the head, especially w/ regard to your last couple of sentences. Humans ain't robots where you shove money in and get work out. That's not how it works, as much as corporate higher-ups might want it to.

Well, one argument against it, is that maternity leave in law means women are less likely to get hired. You may lose her for months (16 weeks in the current Dutch law, and the EU wants it to be extended to 20 weeks), have to still pay her ánd pay someone else on interim basis to do her job in the meantime, while with men, you lose them two days at most (the law's required paternity leave).

It's been identified in several studies that these career breaks for pregnancy and possibly losing your employees for months has played a role in the well-known statistics of women being paid less for the same type of job (note: not the same job, all those studies do not control external factors), and it's also been suggested men are preferred over women without children to hire because of this.

Then again, foregoing several months of pay to have a child would be even more bad, and the current arrangement for maternity and paternity leave is kind of ridiculous. While it doesn't need to be exactly the same term it wouldn't hurt to make it a bit more equal, and solve part of the hiring considerations while at it.
Then again, the impact overall is kind of small despite it being disadvantageous to women, if you look at the labour participation rates.

Of course this doesn't apply to large companies as much, they can afford to replace employees for a while and then welcome them back months later. But for very small businesses who needs lots of staff relative to their revenue it's a very relevant consideration.

Individual business owners shouldn't be forced to pay for something like that. They don't have any interest in new citizens, society does. Hence the financial burden should rest with all tax payers (...and we don't want new businesses going under due to excessive childcare leave expenses, nor fertile women being at a serious disadvantage).

Aside from a short term set aside to the mother to recover from the physical ordeal, it's of course important that the parents be given equal access. Either by enabling them to share the leave between them however they want, or handing them an equal portion each of it.

I agree with Sleekit and say that maternity leave should be extended to parental leave where a the husband and the wife are both legally entitled to an equal amount of time off. If both men and women are going to be taking parental leave then that removes the incentive of employers preferring to hire men over women. I also think that in order to help compensate for lost productivity it would be an idea to have tax subsidies for smaller companies that would struggle here.

However, the workforce (in the UK at least) is becoming increasingly flexible, with more people working part time and temporary jobs. If maternity leave is extended to parental leave it will lead to an increased demand for temporary staff- good news for recruitment agencies. In addition, a company could shuffle staff around to compensate for the lost worker- perhaps by temporary promoting a member of staff to the empty position in order to train them for a possible future when they may have that job on a permanent basis.

Reasons for include that the UK is currently facing a childcare crisis and I think it possibly might help reduce the risk of post-natal depression in the mother (not sure about that one). Also as our population ages we will need a lot of younger people to support the elderly, so we may as well start the sex campaigns now.

It's nothing to me. Why should I care?

I totally agree with Maternity Leave. My wife had to take 2 months after each of our kids.

Now, on the other hand, and just for the sake of argument- Why should it be paid? Does anyone think the financial matters should be the responsibility of the woman who willingly had a child? You know, you have a while to save your cash, because you know you won't be able to work. I'd like to see someone argue that side of it, which I assume would be the extreme Libertarian viewpoint.

Completely against maternity leave, if you feel the need to take that much time off because of a choice you willingly made then you should be fired. There is no reason a company or the government should have to pay someone to deal with a baby nor is there a reason to keep them if they're not coming into work.

Esotera:
as our population ages we will need a lot of younger people to support the elderly, so we may as well start the sex campaigns now.

You might want to change that avatar of yours lol.

Danyal:
-As part of a general plan to stimulate natality, while the government pays for it? Great.
-Making the company for it? It sucks and you help nobody. Don't do it.

If it's generously funded the mother will still be a long time on leave, which still presents a risk to the company. So companies will still either pay women less or try to avoid employing them. It gets worse for high paying jobs, as the woman is much harder to fill in for, and that's probably a bigger financial risk than maternity pay. I'm not entirely sure how to solve that.

Xan Krieger:
Completely against maternity leave, if you feel the need to take that much time off because of a choice you willingly made then you should be fired. There is no reason a company or the government should have to pay someone to deal with a baby nor is there a reason to keep them if they're not coming into work.

societies need progeny not just on a personal basis but on a collective basis.

birth rate either being to high or too low is actually a very serious societal issue and one that is often highly misrepresented in the popular media. for example the UKs birthrate is currently too low and the unspoken truth is we need all those immigrants and large families the press like to complain about so much because people are generally having too few kids.

if the population pyramid for a given society becomes top heavy due to a low birth rate that society is in serious trouble both societally and economically because it can reaches a point where there are not enough people at prime working age (between 25 and 54 years of age) to support those on the rest of the graph who are not.

image

as for companies they don't exist apart. nothing stands apart. and can only exist and function as part of a functioning and stable society.

they need future workers and they need future consumers for whatever product and/or services they offer.

business shouldn't set the rules for society but rather the other way round: society facilitates business for its own betterment.

facilitates.

to use a metaphor a favourable society for business is like a prepared seed bed in which a business can grow from strength to strength but ultimately its the society itself that is the gardener.

work to live, don't live to work. you're not a drone.

last but not least and if you think all babies are a conscious choice...well...that may be what adults say to their kids...but as captain barbossa put it "tis more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules..." the idea that people plan all their kids is practically right up there with Santa Claus...

"ofc you were planned honey..."

"ye...i was totally considering the socio economic situation when i was pounding fuck out your mom that night were feeling really horny after a few beers and she was being all super hot and smexy an shit..."

human. beings. not. machines.

Two perspectives here:

From the personal perspective of the potential parent:
Maternity leave is obviously, from the mother's perspective, extremely desirable. They are in no state to work, and have a child requiring almost constant care. They are pretty much incapable of work for a few months, whether they want to or not. Obviously, being paid for this time off is great.

From the economic perspective of the employer:
This is the tricky one. Because from their perspective, the whole motherhood thing is nothing but disadvantage from day one. Throughout pregnancy, work quality (or at least quantity) will inevitably decrease, and after birth this drops to zero for almost three quarters of a year. This is essentially a position that they have to pay double for - once to pay the maternity leave of the mother, and once again to pay for the work of the person who is hired to temporarily cover for their absence and do their actual work. Some might say this is unfair, to expect the company to pay tens of thousands of dollars for one of their employee's personal choices.

So it essentially boils down to one key question.
Is having a child a purely personal choice, or is it inevitable and involuntary? If the former, honestly, I think it's a lot fairer for maternity leave to paid by the government as some form of social benefit. This, after all, is almost always trotted out as a major factor in the whole women-get-paid-less-for-the-same-job thing, like it or not. From a purely business point of view, it's better to hire men because the chances of paternity leave are miniscule compared to maternity leave. If, however, you take the view that having a child is an involuntary break in the career, then maybe it's a different case. I don't know on this one, because that seems like an incredibly stupid argument to make.

So essentially, what I'm saying is that maternity leave is all well and good, but I also don't think it's fair to expect private businesses to cover the cost of you choosing to have a child and take the best part of a year off work.

 

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked