Steve Hilton: Two good ideas

Steve Hilton, one of David Cameron\’s most senior advisers, has suggested that Britain should abolish maternity leave

And why not?

The newspaper quoted a source close to Mr Hilton suggesting that he thought that maternity leave rights were \”the biggest obstacle to woman finding work\”.

This is true, it\’s also one of the leading causes of the gender pay gap.

So why not abolish the legal right to it?

Mr Hilton also suggested to Mr Cameron that he simply ignore European labour regulations on temporary workers, to the alarm of the most senior civil servant in Downing Street.

“Steve asked why the PM had to obey the law,” said one Whitehall insider. “Jeremy [Heywood, Mr Cameron\’s permanent secretary] had to explain that if David Cameron breaks the law he could be put in prison.”

Not that that outcome would worry many.

 

8 thoughts on “Steve Hilton: Two good ideas”

  1. Well doubtless if he did so by decree he could be sent to prison- and quite rightly.
    But if he persuaded Parliament to change the law first he couldn’t, because he would be obeying the law.

  2. JustAnotherTaxpayer

    Allowing the maternity leave rights to be split between fathers and mothers as they see fit (as I thought was proposed?) will surely have much the same effect on gender pay equality? Then the Sir Alan types of this world will have to discriminate equally against youngish men (who might become fathers) as much as they discriminate against young women (who might become mothers).

  3. Taking the time to read the linked piece, it pretty clearly says civil servants told Cameron could go to prison for ignoring European labour regulations on temporary workers. This is clearly total bollocks. Arrested and imprisoned by whom, using who’s army?

    Of course Cameron can ignore these regulations. Many do. The penalty would be a fine, at which point David says, “Gosh, I’ve just noticed the voters are against any more dosh for Greece, the IMF and similar money pits. My hands are tied. Representative government and all that.” (Add swivel on it gesture as required.)

    The real point here is the civil servants’ horror at the idea of not obeying Brussels. Aaaand, you work for who, exactly?

    Steve Hilton looks like a man to watch. I shall keep an eye out for him in future.

  4. “The real point here is the civil servants’ horror at the idea of not obeying Brussels. Aaaand, you work for who, exactly?”

    Themselves, of course.

  5. “Steve Hilton, one of David Cameron’s most senior advisers, has suggested that Britain should abolish maternity leave”

    This is a suggestion Unions should applaud. And libertarians. Working conditions should be for employers, employees and unions (if applicable) to negotiate as much as is possible. The minimum standards the State has inflicted on the economy are counterproductive, costly and undermine the power of collective action by consent.

    Some will see in Hilton’s reported suggestion a message of ‘there should be no maternity leave’ when all he appears to be suggesting is ‘there should be no state mandated maternity leave’.

  6. The Pedant-General

    Except of course two things:
    1) it’s generally avery good – indeed vital – thing that the civil service is insisting that the PM is not above the law
    2) The Torygraph is dutifully reporting that we are indeed beholden to Brussels.

  7. Probably it would be best if women just stopped having children. Then there wouldn’t be any need for maternity leave and there wouldn’t be any excuse for a gender pay gap. Might have a problem funding future pensions, though.

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