Paid maternity leave is one of the topics no one can agree on because there’s no in-between. You can’t really be indifferent when our future is involved in the equation.
The truth is, not all pregnancies are planned. So for an employer to say, “Oh, I can just hire another woman with no kids” is a huge oversimplification. Life isn’t that predictable.
Paid maternity affects companies and families equally, but companies have all the power in the situation. Planned or not, once someone gets pregnant there’s no easy, free way for them to reverse that.
It’s something that must be dealt with. In an ideal world, companies would have enough respect for their employees’ value to want to keep them on staff, even if that means footing a few extra bills.
It’s understandable that companies need to have requirements for who gets paid and who doesn’t; they can’t afford to bankrupt themselves. But those requirements can be prohibitively hard to reach.
If you worked 999 hours and needed 1,000 to qualify, sorry, you’re out of luck. It’s a black and white decision that amounts to “the time and effort you put into working here means nothing to us, you’re screwed.”
If you do meet the requirements for maternity leave, how much you receive depends on your salary and the company itself, and sometimes it’s barely enough to scrape by.
Paid maternity is about more than letting a mother rest up after giving birth. It helps out with necessities like bills, diapers, and food just like a regular paycheck would.
How can a mother provide for her child if she’s not getting income? The reality is, she can’t. In our economy both parents need to work in order to survive; not offering maternity leave is akin to saying “We don’t care if you starve.”
But hey, that’s life under capitalism, and it doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon.
Nobody’s saying that having a baby is a “get out of work free” card, but having a little support while you adjust to motherhood is just basic human decency.
Some say it’s ridiculous to expect help in our economy. While responsibility for a child obviously falls to the parents, a good company is one that cares for its workers as people and goes above and beyond to support them.
A company that makes it known that they’d rather leave a pregnant employee to fend for herself than set up a structure to help her isn’t going to attract the best talent, and anything it produces will always be subpar.