I feel I may upset a few people here, particularly women, but ORB is based on honesty and transparency and these are my personal views.
And before I express my views in any detail, let me just say that I have worked almost all my adult life and have four children, eleven grand-children and two great-grandchildren. So I think I know a little bit about pregnancy and maternity pay.
When I had my children, there was no legislation to ensure my job was kept open for me. I felt at the time that if I was good enough at my job, and if it was appropriate for the company, there would be a place for me when I was ready to return to work. And invariably there was.
So this is my view.
I believe that parents, both parties, should be supported when they decide to have a family but that support should be limited and it should not be detrimental to either individual businesses or the economy as a whole. If a couple decide they want a family they should, in essence, have the ability to support that decision financially without a heavy dependence on either the state or the companies they are working for.
I therefore feel extremely concerned that the EU is suggesting that maternity leave is extended to 20 weeks and even proposing a non-compulsory suggestion that this should be at full pay. Similarly, the same committee suggested that the two week paternity leave allowance should be on full pay.
The FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) has calculated that these plans could cost small businesses an extra £7,000 per employee with the total cost to the economy standing at £2.5 billion.
What the FSB does not mention is that the world is already overpopulated, so how does it make sense to cause financial issues for business and the economy as a whole when actually the world needs to reduce the number of mouths we need to feed?
Not only that, but whilst an employer should quite rightly not discriminate against a pregnant woman or, indeed, someone of child bearing age, in reality one can quite understand them doing so when the financial implications can be so dire.
So can someone please explain to me why this suggested legislation makes any sense whatsoever?