The new maternity/paternity policy has come into force, with details of how work are planning to support parents, particularly new parents. And, of course, that’s all good. But there is a small part of my brain thinking ‘what about those of us who aren’t having children?’
There’s a Dilbert strip somewhere that satirises ‘family friendly’ policies for effectively discriminating against single people (or childless married people). I can’t remember the actual joke, but the gist of it is that childless people end up doing the work of their burdened co-workers, while said co-workers get extra time off for an event they chose to happen.
It would be like me having an extra week off ‘decorating time’ if I move house, or ‘driving time’ to enjoy my new car. Basically if you want some extra vacation, make a new sprog every year. Don’t worry about your work – other people can do that while you take some much-needed time with your family. Although perhaps spending too much time with your spouse is what caused this whole thing in the first place. (Hmm?)
What about some kind of bonus for those of is who don’t take paternity leave? After all we don’t cost the company anything with extra leave, we don’t add to the workload of our colleagues, and we will have fewer unplanned days out of the office in the next fifteen years because our kids are suddenly ill. We are less inconvenient all round, and on top of that we don’t show anyone pictures of wrinkled babies and demand to be told how cute they look.
I think we should be rewarded as team players, not punished for other people’s proclivity for procreation.