Saturday, 5 December 2009

Now I ask you, is it Fair?

I woke up to the hideous realisation that I will need 8 boxes of crackers over the three days of Christmas and today and tomorrow are the respective children's school Christmas fairs. I am womaning the Secret's stall today where I will fail miserably to recognise a soul, as like most of the fathers I am hardly ever at the school. Somehow the dads get away with it.

My day started at 6 when my husband, Chris, left to pick up and deliver a harpsicord to his parents house in Bristol!? He will be gone all day, or at least until the school fair is finished I should imagine. His departure was quickly followed by drilling from Thames Water outside the house. I complained  to the authorities yesterday as BTW (Bloody Thames Water) started digging a hole outside our house for the third time in eighteen months. Last time they stared at their abyss for three months. I can hardly wait. I know complaining is a waste of time but I find it cheers me up.

I am still so cross about a mate of mine who told me last night that she has lost her top job whilst on maternity leave (not from a social enterprise I hasten to add). Every year it is estimated around 30, 000 women lose their jobs whilst on maternity leave in the UK. One is an outrage, 30,000 is a national disgrace. How do the perps get away with it? They hope that vulnerable mothers of infants won't find the strength to take legal action and at the top end of the jobs market they know that if you sue no one will touch you again. So those women have more to lose in the long run. I suspect that the recession has made it worse with men fighting ever harder for the top jobs. It is of course a man who has got comfy in my friends chair whilst she was on leave. I think of all that work to get to the top, then you take 6 months off to produce a future tax payer and boom, you're out.

I will have to think about what we can do to stop this happening whilst I am selling children back the tat their mothers donated to the school.  I make my lot memorise all my donations before they go to the school so I don't, as has happened in the past, get it back again. That six o'clock gin seems a world away.

1 comment:

  1. I suspect I'm setting myself up for an argument with half your readers, but here goes....

    I fully agree that it is totally unjust that women lose their jobs while on maternity leave BECAUSE they are on maternity leave. But to take figures like this in isolation doesn't do justice to the (likely) problem. In today's working world there are very few jobs for life and organisations upsize and downsize with significant regularity (the merits of which are another argument).
    How many men, who were the 'right person' for the job, had to leave their job because that job was saved for a woman on maternity leave who, although not maybe the strongest candidate, was the safest option to avoid any accusations of prejudice. Believe me, I'm not trying to protect men here, I'm suggesting that without a fuller view we have no idea if this is an accurate/fair reflection of the numbers of women who would otherwise lose their jobs due to natural/ongoing downsizing (and they just happened to be on maternity leave) or whether;
    a) a fairer number would be more (meaning many women are unfairly protected) or
    b) a fairer number would be fewer (i.e. the men are indeed being unfairly protected, as you argue)
    - in my career I've seen both sides happen.

    A single number can be used to argue for and against anything but it has to be in the right context for us to decide which side of the argument is the right one. My guess is that your guess is right but only because we tend to live in a male-dominated society not because of any compelling evidence - one sided figures don't count.

    p.s. love the blog!