I was having an interesting conversation last night with BF’s father about parents and the Christmas Holidays. BF mentioned that his company has 2 people who make up the HR Department, and both of them were allowed to take the week off between Christmas and New Year’s (as part of their vacation entitlement) – so his company had no one from HR during this week. I asked “do they have children?” and the reason I ask this is because I have noticed that the UK is very pro-natalist with regards to work place situations and even governmental policies.
BF’s father chimed in saying that they should have had the week off, they have children. I felt that it was unfair and that people should be treated equally and it should not matter that you squeezed out a sprog.
There has been a growing trend in North America, and I hope to see it soon in the UK, of curtailing preferential treatment for those with kids. Things such as:
• Being able to take holidays at the most choicest periods of the year
• Christmas, it’s for the Children! How dare you suggest I need to work during Christmas Week!
• Child Care Vouchers/on-site daycare (thankfully the companies I have worked for have never paid for this, as this would not be a universal benefit for all employees so why singled out one group with special treatment)
• Being able to run out of the office cos they need to pick up little Bruschetta or Mozerella from the daycare centre
Thankfully, when I worked at Potato Inc one of the few things I liked about my manager was her insistence at treating us all fairly. She may have been a difficult woman to deal with, but she had no favourites and disliked anyone. I had one co-worker who whined that she was being “forced” to work during March Break (one week in March when school children have the week off and schools are shut) because dammit! It is her god-given right to take the week off to spend time with her child. Response from the Manager was “you knew we are about to have an audit, you should have planned accordingly.” This is the same woman who would stroll in around 9:20 and leave at 4:20 – cos she had to get her daughter to school (so that was why she would be late) and she had to leave at 4:20 to pick up her child. She got into this routine because a prior manager allowed her to get away with it. Our Manager told her to be in between 9 & 5, and if she didn’t like it she could go find a different job – that it isn’t the workplace’s job nor management’s job to deal with her child-care issues.
Now I read that the UK government is revamping the State Pension to make it more fair to mothers. Canada has two state pensions – CPP (Canada Pension Plan) that you pay into via payroll deductions and OAP (Old Age Pension) which is means tested and is meant to top up whatever other pension there is so that the elderly aren’t forced to subsist off of catfood. The CPP can be adjusted, if you spent any time at home, as a mother. But there is a limit .. up to the age of 7 and you have to return to the workforce; if you worked before becoming a SHM and never returned to work then the adjustment to CPP is not made .. it is only made if you return to the workforce. The UK government will not means-test the secondary pension, from what I understand, and I have not seen anything with regards to any limitations in this calculation adjustment.
I would like to state that I am not anti-child, but I am against pro-natalist policies which are funded by those of us who are childfree.