Employers could face a £2.5bn bill after the European Parliament voted to force companies to pay maternity leave at full pay for 20 weeks.
As Adam Smith pointed out all those years ago, the total wages of any employment will be equal. So, if you raise the amount that must be paid in one form (say, flexibility or in this case, pay for not actually doing any work at all) then you must, ineluctably, be lowering it in another form, say, the amount of cash that is handed over in the pay packet.
And since we measure the gender pay gap not on total wages but on the amount of cash in the pay packet we have, similarly ineluctably, just increased the gender pay gap.
And we\’ve known this for only 224 years: time for the EU Parliament to scramble into the 18th century, don\’t you think?