The paternity pay gap

When his five-year-old daughter Amelia was born, Keith took a paternity break to care for her upbringing, which lasted about two years. Unfortunately, when Keith was ready to start working again, the financial crash of 2008 limited the opportunities and he has struggled to find permanent jobs in his field.

Exactly what has been causing the gender pay gap all these years. That is, it\’s been very little to do with gender.

10 thoughts on “The paternity pay gap”

  1. There’s no indication that the child has special needs, and one assumes there is a mother…why take 2 years off? And then come back to a fucked jobs market and be amazed you can’t find a job? Eh?

  2. He can’t find a job because he’s overqualified? Why does that put employers off?

    Very few people are perfectly qualified for the job. So employers must prefer the underqualified, mostly. So no wonder the economy is in the toilet.

  3. He can’t find a job because he’s overqualified? Why does that put employers off?

    Because they think it’s inevitable you’ll become bored and want to move on.

  4. I think the fact women form the large majority of those who take time off has a lot to do with gender, or sex. Don’t you mean it’s not to do with discrimination (or at least workplace discrimination)?

  5. I do wonder if there’s something happening with management.

    Over the past few years, some of my friends have been made redundant in software. The programmers have pretty much walked straight into another job, the project managers have spent months looking for a new job.

    According to one of my friends who’s in engineering, there’s also lots of demand for engineers.

    I wonder if we’re seeing that thing that recessions often do which is to force people to focus on reality. Perhaps with all the project management and communication tools that we now have, we have needed less managers, and only reduced the numbers when companies looked seriously at costs.

  6. And comment 1) on this thread explains EXACTLY why the gender pay gap IS to do with gender. “One assumes there is a mother”……yes, mate, she’s working full-time. Which is why her OH took the time off work, you prat.

  7. @ Frances
    I sympathise with your viewpoint but we’re not told whether Amelia’s mother is still there – childbirth is still a significant cause of mortality.

  8. john77

    Umm, it’s not that big a cause of mortality in developed nations any more. But anyway it was Rob who assumed that there was a mother – and then went on to imply that said mother should look after child so that father can go to work. Hence my snarl.

  9. Tim, this is pretty much the definition of indirect discrimination.

    If you discriminate on the basis of a characteristic that is more common among women than men (or, equally, among men than women) then that is (the definition of) indirect discrimination.

    Taking time away from work when you have a child results in lower income, and also is something that a lot more women do than men.

    Discriminating in favour of people that don’t take a couple of years off work to raise a child is indirect discrimination against women.

    Now, there’s a case that it’s legal indirect discrimination – indeed, it’s a case that’s generally accepted in the courts – on the grounds that the loss of experience is directly connected to the ability to do the job.

    But you don’t get to argue that it has “very little to do with gender” that people who stay home with kids and have a career-break as a result end up earning less. Of course it has to do with gender: many more women stay home with the kids.

  10. So Much For Subtlety

    Richard Gadsden – “But you don’t get to argue that it has “very little to do with gender” that people who stay home with kids and have a career-break as a result end up earning less. Of course it has to do with gender: many more women stay home with the kids.”

    Many more women choose to stay at home and be with their children. They are not forced to. No one makes them. The law does not require it. It is not discrimination if it works equally both ways but that more women tend to be on the receiving end of a rational economic decision. That is, if you say, pull the red lever and you will get $20 less than if you pull the blue one, and yet more women pull the red one, that is not discrimination. That is free choice.

    Of course it may be a gender thing in that many employers may think a man who stays home with his children is weird and creepy and so they don’t want him while a woman who does so is nurturing and caring and so a good employee. But that may be hard to test. I bet that if you sent out dozens of CVs with a stint of child care at home, the male names would be called back a lot less often than the female names.

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