What do you think? Is it an injustice to fathers to give them less leave?
What do you think? Is it an injustice to fathers to give them less leave?
Yes, it is discrimination on the basis of sex. Inherently unjust.
Whether the child is breastfed is not a useful criteria for determining whether a parent is entitled to leave. If it were, then any mother who decides to formula feed - for whatever reasons including medical - would not be entitled to the same leave as another. That's ridiculous and also obviously unjust.
Maybe the mother generally handles the bulk of the childcare because our society persists in creating and maintaining obstacles for fathers to participate in parenting. Obstacles like discriminatory attitudes and discriminatory leave policies.
Why should the fathers not get more leave? I have yet to read a good explanation. Fathers can and do care for newborns under all sorts of circumstances.
The parents - mother and father or mother and mother or father and father or however the family is created - ought to decide on how they will share their parenting, not a corporation and not the government. The only way to allow free and fair choice is to provide the same access to benefits such as PARENTAL leave.
They shouldn't get more leave, they should get the same as women.
Allowing fathers the same amount of leave doesn't mean that birth mothers get less time than they need for recovery.Your argument isn't logical. Extending equal benefits to both doesn't somehow interfere with a mother's recovery. She can take the leave if she wants or needs it. No one is saying that she cannot. It would be between her and the father to decide who will take leave and how much. Equal access to benefits will allow families the flexibility they need in all sorts of individual circumstances to care for their child and establish and strengthen their new relationships.
I'm curious whether you think adoptive parents are entitled to parental leave after a child enters their family. After all, neither parent goes through labour and delivery in an adoption.
BTW, in many countries, parents are entitled to much longer family leaves than 8 weeks and the businesses flourish, as do their societies in general. 8 weeks or 16 weeks, either way, is a pathetic length of time for parental leave.
If women are expecting a reward of 8 extra weeks of paid vacation just because their pregnancy sucked (and I had the pregnancy from hell!), I would remind them that no one asked them to get pregnant. Why does a child get relegated to daycare 8 weeks early because his father took parental leave? What if it's two men who adopt a baby and they never had the choice to begin with of sending the woman on parental leave? What if a woman adopts? Does she only get 8 weeks if her ankles didn't swell up? Is she then not entitled to stay home for the extra 8 weeks and breastfeed because she didn't have morning sickness? Getting pregnant and having a child isn't some kind of added benefit to the company that someone should expect a reward for. It isn't like we're providing a service to people around us that our coworker's should be grateful to us for.
The CEO of Yahoo made $36.6 million last year... I don't think matching parental leaves for men is going to put them out of business.
Having said that, I work for a much much much smaller company and I got 60 weeks of paid mat leave... larger companies in the US should be ashamed of themselves for not offering vacations or parental leaves for their employees while their CEOs make millions.
Offering men the same parental leave that women get isn't going to take away from women's mat leave, it's going to make the company think twice about hiring women because they have to give them twice as much time off as a man gets... so as usual, we'll have to work twice as hard for half the pay because we want special entitlements because pregnancy is hard. I guess at least we don't have it as bad as women who can't have/don't want kids?
I am all for having parental leave that applies to any parent, and I think it should be a minimum of 16 weeks.
Where I work, there is no parental leave at all. You just use your sick time and vacation until it's gone. If that's not enough time, you can do FMLA, but that means no pay & no benefits. So in that way it's "fair" to everyone...whether you're female or male, a parent or not, you get the same leave policy. In practice, of course, it's brutal for many working parents.
At least, it was for me. I had only been on the job for 3 months when I got pregnant, so I did not have a lot of sick time banked up. My whole pregnancy, I tried to use as little leave time as possible, and I worked until the day my labor began. I am sure that exhaustion from working full-time was a huge factor in how difficult and long my labor was. I was able to scrape together 8 weeks of leave time, but of course I used up almost the whole first week in the hospital (2 whole days for the labor alone!). I was able to stretch it out a bit by dropping to 50% time for the month I returned to work, which allowed me to "ease" in (at half pay, of course). I was having major breastfeeding issues, and the doctor helping me offered to recommend me for FMLA, but I told her I'd have no pay and no health insurance, that made using FMLA impossible for me.
If we're going to be "fair" by offering everyone the same leave, regardless of their circumstances, then that leave should be very, very generous.
That's my 2 cents.
Wow, you guys have a lot of rules for things that don't matter and none for things that do. Here a husband and wife, husband and husband, wife and wife could work in the same company... no one says anything, in fact, I'm pretty sure it would be discrimination if someone was excluded from a job because of their spouse. It just doesn't look good if one works directly under the other.
Also the 60 weeks paid maternity is not at all weird here. By law we get 52 weeks and our vacation continues to accrue, so because I happened to have my son in April, I was able to go from Jan to April without using any of my 4 weeks vacation and 4 more accrued during my 52 weeks and I have to use them up immediately after my statutory mat leave. The only thing out of the ordinary I got were a ton of sick days I had banked which they made me use before I went on mat leave so if you add those up, it ended up being almost 16 months.
Almost all (if not all) developed countries have at least 12 weeks legislated paid mat leave and vacation days. It's ridiculous to hear anyone talking about 8 weeks as if it were a privilege. I'm not saying that to put anyone down, but ladies in the US need to do something about that... you're getting screwed... and before anyone starts talking about bankrupting the government or businesses, it has nothing to do with them so small businesses couldn't care less if they hire a pregnant lady, it won't cost them any more to employ them. Our mat leave is paid by employee-funded employment insurance. When a baby is born or adopted, a man or a woman is entitled. They can even split the time and both be off for half a year each either at the same time or one after the other.
I guess since a husband and wife evidently can't be employed by the same company, the point about which one goes on mat leave is moot, but it still remains a disadvantage to women when trying to get hired simply because the company will realize if she gets pregnant, they'll have to give her twice as much vacation time as a man.
So if a man and a woman don't have to be treated fairly at a company, how about two employees performing exactly the same job, exactly the same pay and have a baby at exactly the same time. Employee A gets 16 weeks because their ankles swelled but employee B only gets 8 because theirs didn't? I bet employees C & D will get tired of a bunch of employee A's around because they have to do their job twice as long.
You don't have to understand my point if you don't want to but there are at least 42 countries outside of the US that do.
Only four countries have no national law mandating paid time off for new parents: Liberia, Papua New Guinea, Swaziland and the United States.
Here is a Huffington Post article about best and worst leave policies around the world. Guess where the U.S. is in the rankings?
The U.S. falls far short of other countries when it comes to supporting and nurturing new families. It can do so, so much better. Why aim to be the lowest, or even the middle of the pack? The nonsense about "too costly" to businesses and a drag on the economy cannot be believed. Many countries with generous paid parental leave policies have stronger economies than the U.S. right now. Their businesses are doing well. Their children are performing better on health surveys, international education achievement tests, and have lower crime rates.
The U.S. has always been an innovative, "can-do" nation. A world leader. A superpower. I don't believe that it cannot manage to do what so many other countries have done.