04 March 2009

Paid Maternity Leave is a Win-Win Formula

In this op-ed for the Financial Times, Michael Skapinker argues that even in these times of economic downturn, it is more beneficial to companies and to society to have paid maternity leave than to force a mother to resign if she wants to stay with her baby. Some say that it imposes extra costs -- but on the other hand, perhaps in these times, companies may want a valued worker who comes in part-time to the office.

An excerpt:
There are not many countries in the world with no paid maternity leave. The International Labour Organisation lists only four others: Lesotho, Swaziland, Papua New Guinea and the US. To anyone living in a country where paid maternity leave is well-established, the consequences of not having it are arresting. In the US, the law requires companies with more than 50 employees to offer at least 12 weeks' unpaid leave after childbirth. What do US mothers do after that?

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