Business lobby withdraws support for more maternity leave

// 23 December 2005

The CBI, a powerful business lobby group, has written to the Trade and Industry Secretary Alan Johnson to withdraw its support for Government plans to extend maternity leave and paid paternity leave.

Why? Because the Government will not take back responsibility for administering parental leave. CBI chief, Sir Digby Jones said in the letter first published in the Financial Times: “Given that the burdens on employers will now not be compensated through adequate additional support, I regret the CBI can no longer support your proposals to extend family-friendly legislation.” has the TUC’s response: “Ministers should not listen to these unreasonable protests from the employers’ lobby and press ahead with the work and families bill which, when it becomes law, will make life easier for thousands of new mothers and fathers celebrating the arrival of their new children”

Well, exactly. This stuff really makes me sick. The CBI has a pretty appalling record of acknowledging sexism in the workplace, denying ingrained discrimination, and opposing mandatory pay “audits” which the Equal Opportunities Commission says would uncover discrimination both intentional and unintentional.

It’s worth mentioning at this point that a new survey has ripped the rug from under those who claim that parental leave is a massive burden on small businesses. More on how parental leave can benefit businesses here.

It is pretty obvious that this anti-maternity/paternity leave instinct in business goes beyond concerns over costs when you consider its most prominent airing by the vile MEP for UKIP Godfey Bloom who said: “No self-respecting small businessman with a brain in the right place would ever employ a lady of child-bearing age.” No comment necessary.

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