I’m sure I must have mentioned this topic before, but it is now going to have an impact on my workplace, so it affects me more personally.
Every decision the government makes has benefits and downsides. Depending on which side you want to argue for, you tend to only see that one side. It is the bane of every government to be the root of the public’s discontent. I don’t foresee any changes.
The changes in maternity and paternity leave that the government has imposed or will impose have significant impact in the workplace. I’ve argued that before, but I can really see it now.
Yes, it’s really wonderful to give parents a chance to be with their new child and of course, a new child brings changes in the pattern at home and work that can greatly affect an individual’s emotional and physical well-being. No one can argue against that. It’s very humanistic to grant parents the option of being at home for their child in their first year of life without worrying about losing their job. After all, these days it’s more and more difficult to find a job once you’ve lost a good one.
The downside is: who pays?
Several ladies at work are currently pregnant and planning to take maternity leave. Unfortunately, they will all be leaving within 2 months of each other. New staff will need to be found to replace them temporarily. Meanwhile, they will be getting maternity leave pay. I don’t know all the ins and outs of the maternity pay, but I do understand that it is full pay for a significant length of time.
Already, I have seen staff cutbacks due to lack of funds. I know about forthcoming staff cutbacks, which will considerably impact the workload. Though it would be easy to say that if they have to cut back they should not replace the mums-to-be with temporary staff, but just keep the regulars, that is not possible. You see, the staff cutbacks are in various departments, not just the one where the maternity leave is coming from.
Although the payroll reduction is not a result of excessive maternity leave, I’m sure maternity leave does not help. How can we, the public, expect that the funds remain unlimited, such that we can afford to pay two people for the same job – one doing the work, and one on maternity leave? Someone, somewhere will have to lose their job in order to provide for this extra pay.
I can see why some businesses would be opposed to having maternity and paternity leave extended. Either they will have to deal with staff shortages or pay out for extra help. Where will the money come from? Big businesses will have less to worry about, but the government and public sector have a limited supply of funds.