Parental leaves

What do you all think of this? I think I may feel differently than the rest of you but I’m not sure. I think this is a topic we’ve never discussed here.

I’m going to tell you how I feel on two different levels. My husband is an employer and I think it would be hard for any company to keep a job open for someone for a full year.

On the other hand. I’ve looked for jobs in Canada and know several friends who got “maternity leave” jobs but a lot of people don’t want to work for only a year. They really are hard to fill jobs. In a lot of places you can keep the job they hire you for and they will give the mom or dad a different job when they come back. Unless they do that job better than anyone else but we all know there’s always someone to take your place. Nobody is indispensable.

But a lot of jobs say they’re for a mat leave term and then some people won’t even bother to apply and a lot of times it’s up to the remaining employee’s to try to do that job and then hard feelings develop and worse, some parent’s decide not to come back to work but they don’t say anything until the year is up so they still get paid but in the meantime, nobody is doing that job so no matter what you hear, all is not well in this category but it’s not talked about.

Where do you stand on this? Do you think maternity leave should be for a year and do you think it should be able to taken by either the mom or dad?

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10 Responses to Parental leaves

  1. Laura says:

    This is such a hot button on parenting blogs. There are so many people who think that the jobs absolutely exist to pay them, and for no other reason, and they’ll flame you if you say otherwise.

    That said… I can understand the need for a certain amount of maternity leave, particularly for mom. I think it’s a bonus if a company can afford to provide pay for it. I also think that the company should be allowed to set the length of the maternity leave allowed – some businesses might be able to survive a year without an employee, while others would struggle after a week. I think it’s unfair of the government to dictate that kind of a thing.

    I also like the idea of paternity leave, although I don’t know that an extended amount of time would be necessary. When Josh was born, Steve worked for a good company, and had a really awesome boss. Not only did he have vacation time, which he saved up, he had an agreement with his team that he’d take that time “whenever” – since you can’t plan for the birth of your child. Usually. When the time came, Josh was born on a Thursday, and Steve’s boss said, “except for updates and baby reports, we don’t want to hear from you until Wednesday of next week”. And they didn’t charge his vacation time. I think he went back on Monday, since I had two new Grandmas hovering around me and our new little guy.

    A year? Way too much. Especially for both parents to have that time off. Unless there are extenuating circumstances (a serious illness comes to mind), I don’t think it’s necessary, and I believe it would place an undue burden on the business.

  2. Jenny says:

    I think a year is way too long. I believe when I had Hunter I took 8 weeks off. Jason only took a week off. I do agree that it would be hard to keep your job open for any length of time. And to expect to have it when you come back, thats if you’ve been gone for a year. I have no problem with the man taking time off. I wish Jason would’ve taken off longer!

  3. Phyllis says:

    I, too, think a year is too long a time. How much time would the parents take off if it wasn’t paid? That would be a reasonable length of time, although I think 3-6 mo. should be the maximum. By then, a person should know if they will be returning to work or not, and should have the decency to let their company know one way or the other. That’s also ample time to arrange schedules and child care if both parents will be working.

  4. kweenmama says:

    I think a year is too long for maternity/paternity leave. And, I think the mom should have the longer leave–she is the one who just gave birth, afterall. I think it is cool if a dad can take some time off to help the new mom and get to know his newborn, but I don’t think it needs to be any longer than a typical vacation leave.

  5. Nikki says:

    I think a year is too long to leave a job. Certainly not too long to be with your child, but when you have a job waiting for you, a year seems a little excessive. 6-8 weeks seems to be the norm, considering any complications of course, and that works for everyone I know. Parental leave shouldn’t be anymore than a week. I know after a week having Jason home, and my mom was there, I couldn’t wait for the day I was all alone with him.

  6. SKL says:

    I agree that a year is way too long. It’s not only a burden on the employer. Think about what it does to career-minded women who want to be seriously considered for strategic positions in a company. Why would anyone promote a person to a key position, knowing they could announce at any time that they are about to disappear for a year? This hurts women who would return to work sooner so they can grow their career, and women who will not have children at all, and women whose husbands will be the primary caregiver. I say, women who want good maternity benefits should be free to negotiate for what they want. Others can adjust their lifestyles so they can be stay-at-home moms until they are ready to re-join the workforce. And the rest can keep working their butts off and moving up in their careers.

    As for paternal leave – I think it makes sense in cases where the mom has significant health or mental issues. It should be treated like any other unexpected crisis, like when a parent or child has a serious health issue. Most of the time, it just isn’t necessary, and it’s an unfair burden on companies / taxpayers.

    I agree that too many women have the attitude that it’s other people’s responsibility to take care of them and their kid. How “I want” automatically translates to “you must provide” is beyond me.

    The other day I saw an article that argued “We don’t pay our daycare providers enough. The government should bridge the gap.” Huh? If you aren’t paying enough, pay more! Daycare providers who don’t want to work for that wage are not required to. If the government came in to bridge the gap, pretty soon everyone would believe themselves entitled to daycare at below-market rates. Which is of course unfair to families that have a stay-at-home parent, as well as being costly and very difficult to reverse. It’s just poor reasoning.

  7. mssc54 says:

    A YEAR?! Really? Why not 18 months? Give me a break.

    An employee works for the employer. The employee should be aware of what benefits are or are not provided by their employer BEFORE they agree to accept employment.

    On the other hand the employer should NOT terminate an employee simply because the employee takes advantage of the benefits offered.

  8. Karen Joy says:

    When it changed up here from 6 months to one year maternity leave I just about fell over!!Its WAY to long.Of course the mother taking that time off wont say that and I think its wonderful for her to be at home with the child but its ridiculous to leave a business “hanging” like that.I have known women who took their year and never had any intentions of returning to their job and of course say nothing to the boss cause they want their money.Meanwhile the employer is expected to hold their position.Its crazy!!!I think 6 months was year..NUTS!I dont have an issue with whom takes the leave,mother or father but Id think it makes sense for the women as she needs to recoup from giving birth.

    • Joy says:

      I know Karen, you’re right. I know Lisa took a mat leave job with the Manitoba lottery that she just loved and she went out and found another job (that she still has and doesn’t love) because the woman was coming back to work. Well the woman had no intention of going back to work but like you said, she wanted to keep getting paid. I just think it’s too long to have to keep a job open but people down here just don’t get that.

      We also worked in the store in Emerson with a woman to took this leave and they never could find anyone to fill her spot and we worked our butts off never getting our days off and she never came back to work either. It caused a lot of hard feelings from us workers. We were mad at the owners of the store as well and the woman. But really, the store didn’t need another employee so they couldn’t fill it for just one year and the people who did want an interview knew when “so and so” came back they’d be let go. People want a long term job.

      • Karen Joy says:

        Thats just aweful!And I know Ive not had children but seriously do you really NEED a year off anyhow?Just seems excessive.And it cause problems as we’ve said.Its just taken advantage off…like welfare..EI.etc!Drives me bonkers.

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