America: Behind on family-oriented job policies but ahead on fairness
A new report from Harvard & McGill University researchers states that the "United States lags far behind virtually all wealthy countries with regard to family-oriented workplace policies such as maternity leave, paid sick days and support for breast-feeding".
American fathers don't get paid paternity leave, unlike dads in 65 other countries. And, while 145 countries require paid sick leave, Americans have no such guarantee.
The question the researchers don't ask is whether this is a bad thing. When fathers are gone for up to 14 weeks on their paid paternity leave and the sickees are watching the Tyra show (not that I would do that), their work doesn't go away with them. It's all well and good to offer such spectacular benefits, but in the real world, someone still has to do some work. Is it fair to ask other employees to take on that burden? The childless, parents of older kids and the healthy shouldn't be forced to subsidize the lifestyle choices of their coworkers. In practice, of course, this is what already happens, but should we make it a law?
If, as a nation, we're ready to trade productivity for worker benefits, then I suggest we start with things that all employees can take advantage of, like more vacation. I don't know about you all, but I could sure stand to have the time to spend a week or two soaking up the sun. (Four degrees is the high? My kingdom for some global warming!)
Posted by at February 1, 2007 12:36 PM
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|# February 1st, 2007 6:50 PM Squibbly|
|Wow... 14 weeks paternity leave? I think I would start getting annoyed by my husband after that long. I think two weeks would be nice while the mother gets back on her feet, but beyond that is a bit ridiculous.
But this could be solved by adding more vacation days. Of course, I'm not sure what that would cost employers though.
|# February 2nd, 2007 5:11 PM james|
|yeah, let's make employers pay for everything, that's how we should reward them for creating jobs.
if there was a law requiring that i pay employees for vacation and having kids, i'd move my company out of the US in a heartbeat.