Things that I am responsible for

This might surprise some. But Cleggy\’s announcement that paternity/maternity leave will be transferable, shareable.

Umm, that\’s my fault, sorry.

Me banging on for years about how maternity leave itself leads to at least a part of the gender pay gap got as reader here thinking about how that ill-effect could be ameliorated.

If young men were as likely to take paternity leave as young women were to take maternity (obviously, we\’re talking about the months and months, not the 10 days for the stitches to heal) then that influence upon hte gender pay gap would, at least in part, go away, wouldn\’t it?

And that reader suggested such at Lib Dem conference and well, so, as I say, sorry, it all started here.

All we need now is for such paternity leave to be called \”Worstall Leave\” and the Knighthood\’s in the bag, eh?

13 thoughts on “Things that I am responsible for”

  1. I would have thought you would have reason to be proud if maternity leave was abolished altogether. Put back some personal responsibility and lessen the economic burden on the employer. We are noncompetitive enough and share far too much responsibility.

  2. If we must have maternity rights (and I’m inclined to believe that we should) then at least they should be fair. Good work, says I.

  3. Don’t think I could get away with getting it named after you. But if you want we could probably get those opposed to it to start doing so, one of my local MEPs will likely be spitting blood over the idea though, Mr Bloom has a track record on this sort of thing 😉

  4. Can somebody just explain to me again why it is the employer who has to pay for people to induge in sprog-dropping holidays?

    I was once trying to discuss with a “liberal” (that is social despotist) that the distinction between an “employee” and any other trader- a “contractor”- is entirely arbitrary. I put it to him that he would not be happy if he had engaged a little man to install his central heating, but then the little man phoned up and said, “My wife’s had a baby, so I won’t be doing your heating. But you have to pay anyway.”

    The social despot couldn’t see the point. “He is a bizznizz,” he said, “he should have insurance and things and cover his own expenses”. So, why don’t these breeding types who contract regularly for the same business, “employees” as we call them, do the same, you know, save up or have a payment plan or “insurance” against getting up the stick? On what principle exactly is it some other private citizen’s financial responsibility?

  5. If young men were as likely to take paternity leave as young women were to take maternity leave
    But they won’t be. In Norway where they have the option, only 20 per cent do.
    The government might offer to pay me to walk backwards everywhere but that doesn’t mean I’ll take the offer up.

  6. Frances

    I know, I know. Just a little facetiousness. If we do that, how will I be able to keep eating babies?

    Actually got 3 kids, although I must admit to making private pension provision as my legal status as shareholder, director and manager in the firm where I put in a few hours a day, means I have to be ‘autonomo’ (freelance) and I prefer to let the state handle as little of possible of my pot. I shall be on the state minimum.

    Given that, I think Ian B’s comment is an interesting point for discussion with socialists and liberals (of all types which includes a lot of so say conservatives as well). As his experience seems to show, they cannot get their heads round the idea. I don’t mean agree with it, just understand it. Dey ain’t much good on the empathy stakes.

    I find the same here. you channel your wealth creating energy through a limited company and suddenly you are personally responsible for you, yours and all the employees. Gets tiring at times.

  7. Ian B

    It’s one of those things where we’ve all got together, as a society, and decided to chip in to help. Sort of. We’ve decided that babies are good (apparently, anyway.. I missed that meeting) and that we would like parents to be able to look after them a bit until they’re old enough to annoy someone else.

    Once that’s decided, it’s merely a question of mechanics. Either the state pays the benefit (in which case we pay through taxes) or the employer pays the benefit (in which case we pay through purchasing stuff supplied by companies).

    One can fairly argue that the chosen method is the inferior one and that if we’re going to do it then it should be funded centrally to take away the disproportionate impact on many small employers and/or consequent hinderance of the employment prospects – albeit entirely illegally – of any woman whose tubes are neither tied nor dried.

    That latter problem is partly something that Timmy’s Law should help, but I’d wager it’s many years before we’ll see enough men taking substantial time off for it to make much difference.

  8. Ian B,

    The social despot couldn’t see the point. “He is a bizznizz,” he said, “he should have insurance and things and cover his own expenses”.

    Of the past 5 IT teams I’ve worked in, 1 of 6 staff no longer exists, having been shipped to the US, 1 has reduced from around 15 to 3 with most of the work being done in Poland and 1 is gradually moving the work to a consultancy in India.

    That’s mostly about cost, but all the employment stuff that comes from hiring someone in the UK just doesn’t help. I know a team that had 2 programmers on long-term maternity out of 6. That then requires backfilling with contractors. And people in the US are already cheaper per day, have lower holiday costs, and in the case of some states, at-will employment laws.

  9. Ian B,

    I feel the same way about that dastardly right-wing word, ‘Profit’.

    The number of Guardian comments last lambast evil corporations and their seeking of profit is astonishing. But an individual’s disposable income is functionally identical, and therefore anyone who dines out or buys DVDs is morally equivalent to a for-profit company.

  10. Great! Now I can’t hire blokes between the ages of 28-35 either. Those new Dads who are shitting themselves about providing for the family work a lot harder than new Mums who are missing their babies. and they are normally very grateful to get out of the house. I mean, really Tim, you might have thought it through.

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