Sunday, March 08, 2009

WORKPLACE: Parental leave ...

There's an interesting letter concerning maternity leave in the Fin Review on Wednesday 4 March 2009 from a director of a Victorian company. The first paragarph really says it all ...
No small business employer will say so openly, but any attempt to extend maternity leave, requiring employers to keep jobs open for additional costs, will inevitably result in strengthening the preference for older women and confine more of those of childbearing age to casual roles.
Could increased regulation designed to protect women's job security have the opposite affect? As it is, we have multiple layers of state and federal anti-discrimination and workplace legislation that seem to protect women from discrimination on the basis of sex, discrimination on the basis of being a carer and termination due to proscribed reasons (such as discriminatory conduct). Exactly how this affects women's rights to flexible working arrangements after pregnancy and the birth of a child is difficult to say. Different tribunals apply legislative guidelines in conflicting ways with different results.

Will simplifying and streamlining the system really protect women? Is the current uncertainty providing more certainty for women's employment.

Words © 2009 Irfan Yusuf

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