Well, Quite.

Not much that can be argued about here:

This was Gordon Brown\’s big idea in his Queen\’s Speech. Focus groups for both parties put the work/life balance as one of their top three concerns. In his speech to the Labour Party conference, the Prime Minister told women they could have nine months\’ paid maternity leave; now he plans to extend flexible working to all parents of children under 16 and to tell companies that they must allow mothers to stay at home while their children are doing exams and during holidays.

But this is going to harm rather than help women. What company would want to employ someone who not only wanted a year off after the birth of each child, but demanded to work 9.30am to 2.30pm, took off June to revise times tables, insisted on four months a year at home for the school holidays and disappeared every time one of their children coughed? The only company I know that does this is the Treasury and that is because the taxpayer is picking up the bill.

The gender pay gap is, as we have all noted ad nauseam, actually a parent pay gap. Making parents more expensive to employ will simply make the gap larger.

2 comments on “Well, Quite.

  1. Is a parent pay gap. Agreed.

    My wife earns less than she could because she works shorter hours, let’s assume she is “underpaid”. I am a Dad but I work normal hours, so if she is “underpaid”, then I, along with other Dads and non-parents must be “overpaid”.

    As Her Indoors and I basically pool income and expenses, it all evens out on a household level.

    Which is not to say that my simplified child benefit idea isn’t quite cool as well.

  2. That’s Brown’s plan? I thought the whole point of the work-life balance was that each person seeks their own point of comfort, not that the government steps in and makes a nigh-unaffordable demand on everyone (you’re joking if you don’t think this is going to make people poorer).

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