Recently the Australian Government has become concerned about "double dipping" in regards to Paid Maternity Leave, where by Mothers get paid both by their employer and by the Government. Hence the term "double dipping", currently it is entirely legal and I might add entirely a Government created problem. But it obscures the real problem's with Paid Maternity Leave.
The Australian Government has since the 1970's followed the standard soft Feminism line, just like most other Western countries. The idea that women must become more autonomous, that women must compete against men, that the Government must support women against men and that the Family holds women back. But as Governments want to be reelected they didn't introduce all this at once. They brought in a little here and a little there, which is why even though they were giving Feminism most of what they wanted they were continually criticised.
It is only in the last 20 years that Paid Maternity Leave was given any political life. And it was not until 2011 that it became law in Australia, being called the Paid Parental Leave Scheme. It provides 18 weeks paid leave for the primary carer for a new born baby or an adopted baby, the Government wants to increase this to 20 weeks.
Traditionally a Mother with her new born was financially supported by her Husband. The Family provided what was required. But as business now had to recruit women because the Government insisted that not to was discrimination that meant they wanted women who they had trained and spent money on to return. This is the bases for Paid Maternity Leave. But what it does is it encourages the Government to replace the role of a Husband, in fact women don't even need a Husband because whether they are married or single the Government will provide.
Paid Maternity Leave is often advanced as a way of increasing the birth rate, but in the long run it will do exactly the opposite because it is anti-Family. Instead of building strong stable families, it instead encourages women to put career before either family or children. That can only push the birth rate down, it will never increase it.
Further Mothers who work are only part time Mothers, they work so that they can pay other women to raise their child, how much sense does that make? It is entirely uneconomical and it gives further power to the Government, because the Government, not the Parent gets to make the big decisions about how the child will be raised. Discipline, eating habits, education, non of this is decided by the parent but by the child care provider who must follow the instructions the Government has given them. She is reduced from being a Mother to being a broodmare who's only task is to breed. That is quite simply wrong and immoral.
If Paid Maternity Leave is paid for by the Government, then people who have no knowledge of Mother or child are paying for their upkeep. This is not about helping to protect the poor, it is instead paying people who have jobs to take time off. There is no such thing as infinite money nor is there such a thing as infinite jobs. Money spent here cannot be spent elsewhere. If it is paid for by the employer as some argue then it encourages unemployment because it stops others from being employed. How can their wages be paid for when that money has already been spent on Paid Maternity Leave.
Paid Maternity Leave is also a direct attack on Marriage and the Family. Single women get paid just as married women do, here the Governments encourages single motherhood, instead of encouraging Father and Mother to marry. Marriage is good for all concerned, children grow up with both parents and they are all in a better financial position than if they lived in separate households. But nothing about this policy is about securing a stable environment for either Marriage or Families.
Economically Paid Maternity Leave is expensive, this week the Government announced that they are about $34 billion further in debt then they thought they would be. But instead of trying to save money, they push on regardless. Yet again we all get to live in a fools paradise, but one day it will come crashing down. Socially and economically this policy is the height of folly.
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Good post, Mark. Paid maternity leave is yet another way that the role of men in the family is artificially undermined by liberal governments. It ought to give a man pride to be able to support his wife whilst she cares for their young children. Instead, this is being usurped by the state. And down the track people will wonder why the family is not as stable as it once was and why men have less commitment to the labour force.ReplyDelete
It's even worse here in Canada, where it's 35 weeks or more covered (and many companies allow up to a year off).
Good post Mark! No-one has given any logical reason why an employer should pay someone who makes a decision that prevents them working. Normal fairness would recognize that a person making such a decision has defaulted on their contract of employment and therefore must resign or be dismissed. The Government does have an interest in the populace having children in order for there to be a people to govern. The question for the Government should be "How do we encourage the production of healthy well-balanced new citizens?" The answer would be to direct most child welfare money into tax deductions for supporting parents and children. This would encourage the formation of families with at least one working parent. This has been shown to be the best environment for producing good citizens. If both parents wish to work that can only be justified by genuine economic reasons. A doctor could pay for a nannie for instance, but it would be pointless for a woman to take a cleaning job when the childcare costs would be more than she was paid.ReplyDelete
This is how it worked in the 1960s when we had a baby boom.
The current crazy Government "assistance" regime has resulted in below replacement childbirth rates for the last 30 years! Replacement rate is usually nominated as above 2.1 children per women on average. This allows for wastage. We currently average about 1.7 children per Australian born woman or lower. The statistics are difficult to find as migrant women have far higher birth rates and the figures are not separated.