I got a cat just recently. Did I get to take months off work, without needing any kind of approval from my employer who was legally required to hold my job for me, all while getting paid either by my employer or by the government? After all, cats are a lot of work and bonding time is critical, right?
Yes, I hate maternity and paternity leave, especially when it’s paid, no matter who is paying it. It’s discriminatory against those who won’t be getting that un-earned, paid vacation because they aren’t breeding. More than that, it costs money. I don’t like when tax-payer money funds unnecessary, non-health-related, personal choices which the rest of us have no say in, and I don’t like it when businesses are in a position in which they fear hiring women of reproductive age because of the risk of those women being more of a burden than an asset.
Some childfree have suggested a comparable sort of sabbatical should be offered to those without children, which, presumably, doesn’t count against paid vacation time just like maternity/paternity leave doesn’t. It’s not a bad idea from the perspective of employees, but that creates its own problems, not the least of which being the harm done to a business which might struggle to fund such a policy, especially as most businesses already offer all employees regular paid vacation time. But this just brings me to the worst thing about maternity leave is just how very unnecessary it is.
Paid vacation and at least some paid sick time would be something all employees at a particular job and position already have equally. Use it. Maternity leave could go away entirely and people could just use their vacation time, no matter what reason they have for taking off. If their job offers no paid vacation time, or if they don’t qualify yet, or if the amount of paid vacation time offered just is not enough, then they should act like a responsible adults and WAIT to have children, or accept leave without pay. It’s really and truly just that simple.
I don’t blame any parent who takes advantage of the perks of paid baby leave. If I could get a paid vacation for my cat, despite the fact that me having a cat does not benefit my employer in any way, I’d probably take it. Who turns down free money, honestly? No, I blame society for making people think that giving certain segments of society special, preferential treatment not afforded to others equally somehow constitutes equality, or fairness. It doesn’t.
To put it simply, I do not think that anyone’s right to have children should mean that they are owed anything by anyone, especially since no one else gets any say in the matter.