Monday, March 31, 2008

Maternity Leave in Australia - a tax on fertility

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According to the Sydney Morning Herald “Union call for longer leave” we don’t need to have a discussion about maternity leave because most countries around the world already offer 12-14 weeks. Its a no brainer. Never mind the fact that a person might take maternity leave and never come back after giving birth. Never mind the fact that most countries around the world are socialistic EU countries with much higher tax rates. Never mind the fact that subjugating our minds to the collective wills is as pathetic, as are the voters in those countries who probably decided it was a no brainer as well.

The problem I have with subjugating the business communities industrial relations policy to a universal government policy is that it creates a sense of entitlement. Is it not better for all employees to have a remuneration structure that values workers on an equal basis – their capacity to generate income for the company? This policy ‘initiative’ does not do that. What it will do it make women less employable, though given the tight labour market it won’t show up for a few years, except for the higher inflation. Maybe that’s the appeal of this policy. Maybe maternity leave will conveniently be excluded from wage calculations, so magically we don’t have inflation.

Consider that ‘universal childcare, maternity leave’ is just going to make women less employable. Wouldn’t it be better if prospective parents along with single people had the opportunity to select the benefits they received at the start of their career? If we don’t level peg then we will have any mothers will ‘child-bearing hips’ being discriminated for being considered of ‘fertile age’. The implication of that is that there will be politicians in ‘9 months’ clambering to adopt more legislation, this time to prevent discrimination against women because employers have so many burdens placed on them. Might they have a point? Would it not be better to have a framework for equal treatment rather than appeasing every vested interest groups and turning their every need or desire into ‘universal policy’. This is far from progressive policy, rather its fascism at its worse, since it was achieved without even a debate. No minds! Collectivists should be proud. You spread the right fertiliser, you get the right pig food. I dont expect a good defense from the business groups. They are equally as mindless.

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Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com
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