We\’re all up with the fact that the gender pay gap is actually a mothers\’ pay gap. It\’s the taking of time out of the labour force to have, wean and then tend for the \’ickle darlin\’s which leads to the disparity in pay, on average, between men and women.
One part of that is that paying the costs of maternity leave increases the potential costs to an employer of hiring a woman of fertile age. Another part of it is that longer maternity leaves lead to longer absences from hte labour force and thus the greater diminution of human capital. And of course higher maternity pay will lead, at the margin, to both: both higher costs for employers and longer absences from the market (as many women don\’t currently take their full entitlement to maternity leave).
So, if we were to plot a manner in which we might increase the gender pay gap what would we do? Yes, that\’s right, we would up the pay to mothers on maternity leave.
The move to extend maternity leave to 20 weeks for women across Europe was first proposed earlier this year in the EU\’s Pregnant Workers\’ Directive, but held up after Conservative MEPs demanded that an “impact assessment” of the costs be drawn up.
This has now been produced – and shows that taxpayers within the EU would be forced to pay more than £100 billion between now and 2030 to fund the move.
Britain would have to pick up nearly half of the costs, around £48 billion, because the Government currently bears a relatively small fraction of maternity costs compared to other EU nations.
Isn\’t that lovely boys and girls? Even as the EU rails and fulminates against the very existence of the gender pay gap they plan to increase it.
Quite how this contributes to Germany not invading France again I\’m not quite sure.
Can we leave yet?