Women in Tech

Who should fund maternity / paternity leave?

Capital One 3l chap0
Dec 14, 2018

I don’t see why companies should have to fund parental leave. The incentives are all wrong. It’s a conflict of interest. Companies have little incentive to help parents raise kids. Giving kids a great start with their parents is in the public’s (i.e. government’s) interest.

Companies might even illegally discriminate against women if they know they might have to pay them for leave in the future. It’s bad enough that they won’t be working for a long time, but to have to pay them for it? Makes zero sense from the company’s perspective. But companies are forced to lie and say that it doesn’t bother them.

Companies should be paying employees for productivity in the workplace, not in bed. Here is my proposed alternative: instead of making them pay up front to the employee, instead charge companies of a certain size an extra tax to fund leave. That way, companies are still paying for it, but have no financial conflict of interest against hiring women. Feel free to tell me why it’s a terrible idea.

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  • General Mills / DataMUsi88
    In the lack of any government mandate it is a benefit for employers provide to attract talent. And a greater leave benefit can help attract better talent and so on. I don’t see a major difference from the many other random benefits provided by some companies.
    Dec 14, 20184
    • Capital One 3l chap0
      OP
      Well in several states it is required. This probably doesn’t apply as much to top companies like Google, who are looking for the best of the best. They would probably add parental benefits on top to attract top talent. But for companies who can’t afford that, this provides them with a kind of insurance, and allows them to ease their minds towards hiring women.
      Dec 14, 2018
    • General Mills / DataMUsi88
      I’m not exactly seeing how it removes that possible burden. Paid or not the employee is still gone for a period. And it sounds like you’re saying it’d operate in a similar manner as unemployment. Or are you somehow arriving at a fixed tax for the company regardless of women out on leave? If so, how is that determined given the wide variation in compensation and demographics between organizations?
      Dec 14, 2018
    • General Mills / DataMUsi88
      Or if this is mainly about gender hiring bias in your opinion then just make the mandated leave law equal for both maternity and paternity. Our company still gives women a little more but men get 3 months paid leave too so it’s not like it’s some huge cost savings. If you force them to be equal there wouldn’t be any incentive to either gender and then employers can still provide the basic requirement or more as they saw fit.
      Dec 14, 2018
    • Capital One 3l chap0
      OP
      Good question, I’m not sure how much it would cost. But it would be a fixed monthly cost per employee, not based on demographics. If it was based on demographics it would just recreate the disincentive formally as a tax.

      And you’re right, the employee is still gone so it doesn’t remove the burden completely, but it minimizes it. They’ll be gone, but making companies pay for it is like adding insult to injury.
      Dec 14, 2018
  • Intel xacggd
    Companies paying extra tax will eventually come out of all employees pocket irrespective of they are parents ot not. Why should people who don't want kids have to pay for others kids?!
    Dec 14, 20182
    • Microsoft 4655434b
      Because u live in a society & take advantage of the benefits it offers. I’ve never been robbed, why should I pay for PD? I’ve never had a fire, etc, etc, etc
      Dec 14, 2018
    • Expedia Pharao
      Are you ok with not having doctors, decent roads, baristas, software and technology, groceries, etc, etc when you’re old? Because someone has to keep doing those things and if children don’t happen , you’re not gonna get any of that when you’re old. There’s a good real life example of that -japan and their aging population crisis, it’s so bad they had to revise their immigration policy to avert disaster
      Dec 14, 2018
  • Google / MgmtLovedoo
    It’s an incentive. The same argument may apply to 401K match, or to a lesser extent healthcare, massages, on site perks, etc. Why should companies provide incentives? To attract the best and brightest. Also it’s scientifically proven that the time to bond with a new child is in the first year. So what if companies in the US offer 3 months paid leave to an employee? We are allowed to take a sabbatical, or get paid schooling or training, what does it matter if a company provides this as a perk, to make good on work life balance, in the absence of government regulation. I doubt companies like McDonald’s, Starbucks, Walmart, Amazon will offer this to their entry level jobs.
    Dec 14, 20184
    • Microsoft 4655434b
      Starbucks actually might...
      Dec 14, 2018
    • Google / MgmtLovedoo
      I hope so. We treat lesser skilled workers like second hand citizens.
      Dec 14, 2018
    • Microsoft 4655434b
      Starbucks already offers college tuition assistance & other benefits to all of its employees...
      Dec 14, 2018
    • Capital One 3l chap0
      OP
      So this wouldn’t change who can get the perk, from the employee’s perspective. You still have to have worked there a certain number of hours, you still have to have at least X number of employees, etc. This just changes who has to pay for it.

      From an accounting standpoint, it is a cost. Not all companies have balance sheets like google does. Sometimes it’s tight, so companies might be tempted to engage in discriminatory hiring practices. It’s still very illegal of course, but not having to foot the bill for someone who won’t be doing any work might mike financial sense. Lifting that burden from companies to the government prevents it from being as lucrative, and shifts the risk-reward balance strongly towards risk.

      Besides, it’s not just any perk. It is a perk which is disproportionately given to women, and which is only given to people of a certain age group, and then rather abruptly. If we still think it’s something that parents should get, we should make it easier for them to get it at all companies, not just those that offer it.
      Dec 14, 2018
  • Medtronic / EngziXa66
    If companies want happy employees, or employees that actual want to work there and help the company succeed, then paternity/maternity leave is simply one of the benefits that they have to have to remain competitive.
    Dec 14, 20182
    • Capital One 3l chap0
      OP
      Well some companies don’t care, but it doesn’t mean people don’t still deserve it.
      Dec 14, 2018
    • Okta nfc
      The response to "some companies don't care" isn't "then have the government do it" as it encourages that behavior.
      Dec 14, 2018
  • Uber Ieip
    I like this argument.
    Dec 14, 20180
  • Microsoft 4655434b
    What’s the difference between companies paying through tax & government paying? In either case, it is in the gov’t best interest to ensure people continue to produce a labor pool that can continue to pay taxes. Whoever pays, it is something that should absolutely be provided.
    Dec 14, 20183
    • Capital One 3l chap0
      OP
      It’s the difference between thinking “this lady might get pregnant and cost a lot of money for no work” and “we’re already contributing to the childhood fund, even if she gets pregnant, hiring her isn’t that risky”.
      Dec 14, 2018
    • Microsoft 4655434b
      Do you really think companies are that worried over paying for a few months of wages vs lost productivity? Childhood fund fix concerns about the latter... (not saying they’re valid)
      Dec 14, 2018
    • Capital One 3l chap0
      OP
      Yes, I do think companies care. I don’t think the question is whether there is a cost to parental leave, but who should pay for it.
      Dec 14, 2018
  • OpenTable Meliodas
    Breeders outnumber non-breeders, so the benefit exists.

    California already covers paid family leave as part of state disability insurance, companies don’t pay for it unless they want to offer extra benefits beyond what state law requires.
    Dec 14, 20182
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Capital One 3l chap0
      OP
      Is it working well? Very few states require paid leave of any kind.
      Dec 14, 2018
  • Intel strik
    The government should provide a minimum level of leave, subsides companies for the lost man hours. Companies can then add more maternity leave to attract skilled workers.

    All post industrial nation's are having a birth rate issue, if it wasn't for immigration the US birth rate would be sub replacement level. A capitalist country needs internal consumers to survive and thus a lot of support should be given to incentivize having children.

    I say the government should provide two weeks for each parent. Parents can take it a week at a time, both parents must take it and perhaps a sharing agreement can be arranged where one parent can give days to their spouse, subject to a limit.

    Government then gives out subsidies to employee's to compensate for the lost work.
    Dec 14, 20180
  • CareerBuilder VLMR16
    It’s not just an incentive, it’s for retention. I left a job after my twins were born, because there was no way I’d have been physically able to go back within just a few weeks of a very difficult birth. I guarantee it cost my company more than three months of my salary to replace me. It would have been very much in their interest to keep a valuable employee on staff for the long term.
    Dec 14, 20180
  • New suckers
    Buddy...get with the program....males pay for everything.
    Dec 14, 20180
  • SurveyMonkey / EngBlindmky
    I like the idea of it being govt subsidized. At the same time I think if middle class wages were higher, more people would be able to have kids when it makes financial sense to them without having to worry about paid leave.
    Dec 14, 20180

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