Questioning maternity leave.

The head of the “Equalities and Human Rights Commission”, Nicola Brewer, has said that the legal burden placed on employers who must pay maternity leave is making them reluctant to employ women of child-bearing age.

About time someone in the Equalities industry said it.

This Have Your Say page on the subject now asks:

Should women have to choose between a career and a family? Has your job been affected after taking maternity or paternity leave? Are you an employer who is mindful of employing women of child-bearing age?

About time someone in the BBC asked that question – the “Are you an employer” part, I mean. This morning there was no question addressed to employers; the question referred only to the false dichotomy of women choosing between a career and a family (as if it were all or nothing), and the only people invited to comment were those who might have been discriminated against.


. Did you hear Alistair Darling on the Andrew Marr show this morning calling for those in the private sector to exercise pay restraint in these tricky economic climes? Naturally the public sector may also consider taking a somewhat more restrained approach. Big deal. Why did Marr not ask Darling why his predecessor as Chancellor kept ramming through inflation-busting wage increases for teachersndoctorsnnures and other courtier groups? Why did Marr not even express mild surprise that the public sector now enjoys an average hourly wage 20% higher than that in the private sector? Since those of us in the wealth creating private sector are already being hammered by taxation to fund the gilt-edged pension schemes of many in the public sector, could Marr have not enquired as to whether it is t time that the State sector took a cut in wages? And what business is it of Government to tell private enterprise how it should reward its employees? Marr could have done much better with Darling but the tone was deferential.