Pregnant Workers: Correspondence with COFACE

(The Confederation of Family Organisations in the European Union)

Dear William,

Did you read this before your signed it?  Forgive my continuing frankness, but I have never heard such palpable nonsense.

“Longer maternity leave represents a benefit for young mothers and their babies”.  Of course it does.  Winning the lottery would represent a benefit to me, but that doesn’t mean I have the right to win the lottery, or that tax-payers have to compensate me for not winning the lottery.

“If the leave is not financially compensated then this constitutes injustice and discrimination towards working women”.  No it doesn’t.  If you choose to do something that involves a cost, you cannot then cry “discrimination”.  It’s like saying I’m being discriminated against when I exercise the right to buy a house, because no one compensates me for the cost of the house.  I might as well complain that I feel hard-done-by because I can’t afford a Rolls Royce.  If you want anything in life, you need to earn and save and pay for it, not construct clever excuses to get other people to pay on your behalf.

There is no doubt that some social benefits accrue to society by providing incentives to women and couples to have children, but these have to be weighed against other priorities and against our ability to pay in straightened times.

Campaigns like yours seem to assume that there’s a bottomless pot of money which compassionate politicians can access and hand out to anyone and everyone who can come up with a plausible reason.  Sorry to disappoint you, William, but there’s no pot of gold at the end of our particular rainbow.

Best regards.


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3 Responses to Pregnant Workers: Correspondence with COFACE

  1. Cliff Williams says:

    I have been waiting for a leader to voice these words for some time now. The concept that just because something is available doesn’t make it a right is my new golden rule. It certainly was when I was raising children, passing by the candy aisle doesn’t mean a child can have a bag.
    This is a stark but unknown reality for the “entitlement” society that government has created.

  2. John Wysemann says:

    Indeed it is the case that if small businesses were forced to comply with these plans, then they would either employ no women of child-bearing age at all, or risk going bankrupt.

    How long would it be before prospective fathers would be claiming “equal human rights” and demanding six months off work, at full pay when their wives were having a baby?

    Then they want family allowances and etc. on top of all that. This is fatuous nonsense. Taxpayers pay in the end, to fund these daft schemes, and the new parents are only being paid their own money back from the additional tax they have paid. Furthermore Employers who survived, would require to charge more for their goods and services to fund these operations.

    The end result is that the new parents, and indeed everyone else would be worse off in financial terms. The only winners in this scenario are the bureaucrats who would administer such schemes, and they would then impose additional costs of wages and logistics.

    I say give no maternity benefits at all. Let prospective parents fund their own children. This would in fact be less expensive than across-the-board state supremacy schemes such as are proposed. I would not be opposed to taxpayer funded supplimentary payments in cases of genuine hardship in exceptional circumstances, but Employers should not be forced to make special arrangements and payments to staff, who may never even return.

    just my opinion.

  3. chris emmett says:

    This sort of legislation produces entirely the opposite effect to that intended. Businesses owners will think hard before employing women of child bearing age if they think their ‘rights’are excessive and will interfere with the smooth running of their business.
    I have no doubt that those who look after children and families should be supported, but this is the wrong way to do it
    Chris Emmett

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