Begin Rant: I don’t want your paid parental leave

I’m about to be very unpopular. Betraying the sisterhood and all that. I’m sure there’ll be plenty of feminazist websites calling me names in due course. But I don’t want and don’t support any Government paid parental leave scheme.

Yes, I am a woman, of breeding age, with ovaries that work and everything.

I support paid parental leave, absolutely, and for both mum and dad. But it was and should always be an incentive payment from your employer for you to return to your job in a timely enough manner that they don’t have to spend big money on replacing you, and they don’t need to retrain you on your return.

For example, back when I was going through uni I, like many thousands of others worked at Coles. Their maternity policy even way back then – even for just plain old check out chicks – was you could take 6 months full pay or 12 months at half pay. Obviously somewhere along the line they had calculated the costs of training and experience to be roughly 6 months pay, or close enough, and offered that benefit as a way of retaining those valued employees.

And so it should be.

If the Government is paying your salary, then you are no longer obligated or incentivised (depending upon the agreement) to return to work. You are released from either the legal or social contract or both that previously existed between you and your employer.

This is really the case with all leave. It’s a good will payment, fought for as entitlements by excellent work of the union movement and other advocates of the workers to be sure, but a good will payment none the less paid by your employer to get you to come back to work.  Sick leave, annual leave, family leave, study leave: it’s all the same principle.

Payments made by the Government (tax payer) are welfare. A safety net that should only be called upon when you don’t have sufficient alternative sources of income. A mother who was only employed casually or not otherwise entitled to paid maternity leave from her employer should of course be able to access welfare (with an appropriate income test – wives of the well paid do not need welfare).

The Government should not be paying people their salary. This does not compute. I dislike the current PPL scheme too, because I think it should be a safety net, not an entitlement that diminishes the ability of employers to attract the best employees with better benefits and conditions.

If the Liberal party wanted to spend $5b on incentives for business to offer great PPL schemes – GREAT. I understand its hard for small business, but a) there’s still a welfare safety net, and b) I’m sure you’re capable of figuring out an incentive that is targeted to SMEs.

I know this is not a popular thing to say. But paid parental leave should be a worker benefit offered by your employer. Not welfare from the state.

End Rant.

10 thoughts on “Begin Rant: I don’t want your paid parental leave

  1. Reblogged this on Mazie's Place in Space and commented:
    Day Fourteen has been dominated by the Coalition’s PPL announcement (technically re-announcement). Estimated to cost $5.5 billion per year this policy is economically reckless (and not necessarily popular).
    Keeping with the ‘Working Families’ theme, the ALP announced that parents who do not vaccinate their children will not receive Family Tax Benefit Part A. Can’t see that one coming to fruition.

  2. I stopped reading at your thinly veiled dig at feminists. Surely you can have an opinion without throwing other women under the bus like that. Shame on you.

      • Exhibit B. Thank you for ‘liking’ the post. Hilarious that you agree it was a thinly veiled dig at feminists – it wasn’t veiled at all. And they have no one to blame but themselves for the tonnage of hatred that many moderate, ordinary, everyday women feel towards the organised and disorganised feminist movement courtesy of having been victims of endless screeching vitriol and witch hunts for daring to voice their opinion, or perhaps their creative work demonised because they wrongly assumed a man was behind it and imagined sexist overtones, and other such nonsense.

        • Considering Feminists of today preach mainly vile spiels of hate and completely disregard how much better off women are under the modern systems, its no wonder you’d be worried about setting them off.

          I’ll say it again, Feminists of today, ~ARE NOT~ women’s rights activists.

  3. Hi Kathryn – I can’t agree. I think the impost on most businesses to be too great to ever support PPL so I’m fine with the Govt dedicating certain taxes to pay for it. PPL should be part of Australian family’s future just as a two income family has become the norm. I like Eva Cox’s take on this subject too. http://t.co/r4to85UuQA . BTW I worked for the Coles Myer group in their HR dept and I’ve never known them to have had a PPL, They don’t now but perhaps they did for a short while – googled and couldn’t find any ref to it.

    • Except that it happens in plenty of companies and plenty of parts of the world, so evidence to the contrary. I’m not going to argue with you on the PPL at Coles – it’s possible union people were lying to me, and my friend that took the 6 months full pay was spun a similar story and was to embarrassed to correct it publicly after she told people that’s what she was doing, and it’s possible the entire thing was a decade ago so y’know, memory. And I also don’t care that much: I could go and find another example of a company doing it right without Government anything like Ford or Ikea or Qantas or most universities but I had one in my memory bank.

  4. Aside from the feminist comment – which is an offered opinion, I believe the rest of the argument to be very sound. I don’t think its a rant. I thinks it is well thought out and has valid points I had not though of myself. Thankyou.

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