Monday, May 07, 2007

Mom's Rising

Listening to Radio 4's Woman's Hour on Monday morning, I heard some horrifying facts about women's employment rights in the United States (click on the link to listen). It's ridiculous that the wealthiest and one of the most developed countries in the world should be comparable in this regard to countries like Lesotho and Papua New Guinea. It's made me realise how lucky I am to work in the UK as a young woman and is certainly something to take into account when considering a future career move to the US.


Richard Mason said...

Perhaps there's something to be said for the government paying people to have children-- and there are some tax breaks for having children in the US. Mandatory paid maternity leave is sort of the same type of thing, except instead of the burden being passed to all taxpayers, it's passed specifically to employers who hire young women (not employers who, by chance or design, don't hire young women) and to childless workers.

Since you haven't taken advantage of paid maternity leave yet, the UK policy has presumably been a detriment to you personally, so far.

Ashbloem said...

In Holland and Sweden, I believe, the mandatory paid maternity leave is passed on to all taxpayers - I believe the employers have that cost subsidised, that is. I do not know about the UK.

I would happily pay higher taxes if I knew I had the social benefits that my European friends have, and I'd happily pay them knowing other people would benefit from it too. Of course, that's the democratic socialist in me.

I'd much rather have the paid time off (two years in the case of my Swedish friends, that can be split between mom and dad) than tax breaks that may or may not be significant depending on my needs and what administration is currently in power.

I find myself having panic attacks when I consider how I shall have children in this country. A lot of this is my own doing, since I am not interested in a corporate job that would allow me health insurance, but even if I had that sort of job, there is nothing that dictates I am allowed to have more than 2-3 months paid time off to start a family.

Frankly, it sucks. I'd stay in Europe if I were you. Just come for visits. :)

Richard Mason said...

On investigation, it appears that the UK employers do get reimbursed for 92% of the mandatory maternity pay... so they are only a little out of pocket.