Obvious improvements #1: The state, not firms, should pay for maternity leave

Image result for crying baby

In the status quo, employers have to give maternity leave. They also have to pay workers while they are on leave. The latter is bad.

  • It disincentivises hiring young women. Losing a worker for months is already costly. Having to pay them while they’re away is even more costly.
  • It allocates the burden of supporting young mothers unequally. In a just society, we all have an equal responsibility to support those who deserve help. Maternity pay disproportionately and unfairly falls on employers more likely to employ young women. This allocation is unjust.
  • It allocates the benefits of maternity leave unequally. In a just society, all women would have the same allowance for maternity leave. In an employer funded system, women on maternity leave who’s employers go bankrupt loose their pay. This is morally arbitrary and unfair.

Full government funding is a better alternative.

  • It disincentivises hiring young women less. Employers still risk loosing a worker for months, but no longer have to pay them during the absence.
  • It allocates the burden of supporting young mothers equally. Tax is paid by all employers equally. A tax funded system of maternity pay ensures all employers share the burden of supporting young mothers equally.
  • It allocates the benefits of maternity leave equally. As long as the state is solvent, all mothers get their maternity pay regardless of the financial solvency of their employers.

 

 

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