Prince William's message about workplace equality

  • Article by: Judith Warner , Bloomberg News
  • Updated: July 28, 2013 - 5:16 PM

On the face of it, Prince William’s decision to take two weeks of job-protected, paid statutory paternity leave is absurd.

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myob_STJul. 28, 13 6:24 PM

"Pathological" is a good word to describe the work world these days. We work longer hours, take fewer vacation days, and return to work sooner after childbirth than other advanced nations. And yet our income in real dollars has been decreasing over the past 30 years, while the 1% at the top of the curve have seen astronomical increases in wealth. Wake up, folks: They earn some of that extra money off our extra work. They create a false sense of urgency that we put in extra hours - and, in my experience, while guilting you that you need to work the extra hours at all. "Are you sure you need to work this weekend? I don't want you to overtax yourself. Oh - and did you see that new project that came in from Upstairs? What do they think we are, automatons? Hey - I've got tickets to the game tonight, see you in the morning. Don't stay too late, now!" Smile and wave, and exit, stage left. All in one neat little package, the boss has committed his/her staff to extra work with no extra compensation (likely not even any comp time, because "I've been told I'm too liberal with that")while at the same time insinuating that if we just worked hard enough, we could get our work done in time to go to the game, too. Well, not box seats, of course, but hey - I hear the view from the bleachers is pretty good.

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pumiceJul. 28, 13 7:59 PM

This article combined with Ms. Kersten's article made me think about the advantage same-sex couples have regarding the issue of parental leave. A same-sex couple gets to negotiate parenting decision without being constrained by traditional expectations.

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pumiceJul. 28, 13 8:05 PM

Re: "'Pathological' is a good word to describe the work world these days. That sentence caught my eye as well, myob_ST, along with the sentence which followed: "[E]xcessive hours and unrealistic productivity expectations ... make living a balanced life impossible for everyone." Technological advances which make being on call 24/7 increase the lack of balance.

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northhillJul. 29, 13 7:05 AM

British fathers get paid paternity leave even if they are not married to their child's mother. That is virtually unheard of here. They have the premise in Britain that the child is theirs not her or his.They feel that the more involved the father is with the child the more likely he will support the child financially and continue involvement in their child's life to adulthood.

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r3ader1Jul. 29, 13 7:16 AM

Also agree with the pathological assessment. With the constant possibility of lay-offs for one or both of the parents/spouses/partners, there's the inherent feeling that if you take time off, then your job must not be necessary. Is it any wonder that health issues (especially those with stress as a contributing issue) are increasing?

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elind56Jul. 29, 13 7:27 AM

I don't want to be considered "equal" because this whole equality thing is a sham. Men and women are not equal, never have been, never will be, and attempts to make it so through legislation only complicate matters. When my wife had twins (unexpectedly) some 27 years ago, the last thing we could afford was me taking time off and I don't feel it's the taxpayer's obligation to cover any of our expenses while I 'recovered' from childbirth.

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eman2001Jul. 29, 13 8:05 AM

NOW, the leading feminist organization, is all for equality, until it comes to shared parenting following divorce or separation. At that point, they believe that the children and the child support belong to the mother. Men are getting sucked into the idea that they will be an equal parent, but soon find out that four days a month is the norm for their time with their own children.

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jimjimjimjimJul. 29, 13 8:43 AM

Wanting the rest of us to pay for your time off for deciding to have a child is liberalism run amok. And who cares what the filthy rich monarchy of England have to say about anything?

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lordhawhaw1Jul. 29, 13 9:11 AM

When my first kid was born I took two weeks off. My second, three days and I couldn't wait to get back to work. If I'd of had a third I would have been back to work in two hours.

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dhenkelsJul. 29, 1310:01 AM

One thing wrong in the article is the no protection for a new mom...there is protection. It's called FMLA. Provided someone has been at the job for a year, they are allowed to take up to 12 weeks of leave and come back to the same or an equal job and same pay. They aren't required to be paid for that time, but it can be considerd short term disability which many companies do have.

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