View Poll Results: What should maternity benefits be? Check all points you agree with.

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  • No guaranteed leave.

    3 42.86%
  • Guaranteed leave: 6 weeks

    0 0%
  • Guaranteed leave: 12 weeks

    1 14.29%
  • Guaranteed leave: 24+ weeks

    3 42.86%
  • Paid leave: 6 weeks

    0 0%
  • Paid leave: 12 weeks

    1 14.29%
  • Leave paid at 60%

    2 28.57%
  • Leave paid at 100%

    1 14.29%
  • Who pays for maternity benefit: employer

    1 14.29%
  • Who pays for maternity benefit: government (through payroll tax)

    4 57.14%
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Thread: What maternity benefits should be guaranteed?

  1. #1
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    What maternity benefits should be guaranteed?

    United States is somewhat out of step with the world when it comes to maternity benefits (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parental_leave). Many believe this is fair - after all, no one is forcing anyone to have babies; if a woman choose to have one, she should have planned for it! Others, though, believe that bringing children into this world benefits the whole society, and should be rewarded accordingly.

    What do you think it should be? Check all options you agree with - how many weeks you think should be guaranteed, how much of it should be paid, how much should a woman be paid, and who should pay it.

  2. #2
    Da' Spellin' Homegirl Grgranny's Avatar
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    I know most everyone will disagree with me but I cannot see why anyone should pay any benefits. Why should anyone pay these benefits? It's not as though they are forcing you to get pregnant. It's hard enough to run a business without all these things to make it even worse. Of course, I'm of the old school where parents should stay home with the children. I know I'm too jealous to have someone else see my babies take their first steps and all those things you miss if you work. Don't get me wrong, I was lucky and do feel for those that have to work but feel the employer should not be the one to have to pay for it. Anyway, I am so glad I was able to stay home with my kids. Every time they had to go to school, leave to go to college, get married, etc., it broke my heart.

  3. #3
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Granny, that's why I believe this should be done through payroll taxes, not penalizing the employer excessively. As to why the society should do it - let's face it, for most women the solution to "no benefit" situation is NOT to quit their job and stay home - it is to go back to work after only a couple of weeks. Forget about actually getting the breastfeeding going, forget about getting to see that first smile, let alone the first step. Of course, mother's going back to work too soon also has very adverse effects on babies and some adverse effect on mother's health as well (particularly, it increases chance of a postpartum depression). So the question, jut like any other question about social benefits, comes down to "fair" vs. "good for society". Maternity benefits may not be fair to those choosing to stay child free, but they do benefit the society at large.

  4. #4
    Da' Spellin' Homegirl Grgranny's Avatar
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    I do understand all that. That is why I say that it is so sad that has to be the way. I was lucky that I was able to stay home. (I really didn't want to work anyway) ha. I know the only choice is to either work or not have children. It is really just too bad. If that were the choice, I would have no grandchildren, etc. How awful that would be. It's just life now.
    Not sure about the payroll tax thing. We're overwhelmed with taxes anyway. Since I'm not working any more, Wouldn't be of my concern, I guess.
    There are some things about many years ago when life seemed simpler that were good but what would we do now without what we have now. I, for one, would hate having to go back to the old washing machines and clotheslines, etc.
    Wish there were simpler solutions. Guess that's life.

  5. #5
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    I am not of such a pessimistic view of the "here and now". Yes, it is very hard to combine work and motherhood (speaking from experience here!). I believe a woman's role in society is far better today than it was in your day. It has significantly decreased instances of abuse against women and brought us far more choice; it has also radically altered marital relations by making spouses far more "equal" than they've ever been before. I mean, it's not really true that (in my particular case) I really did not have any choice - we could have sold our house and moved into a smaller one in a poorer neighborhood - that might have even been worth it; more importantly, though, it would mean a different kind of a relationship between me and my husband - and that is a sacrifice I wouldn't be willing to make.

    BTW, there are several ways to fund maternity benefits. As I've mentioned, one is a payroll tax similar to the unemployment benefit tax. The difference of course is that anyone can be laid off, but not anyone would choose to have a baby; a (very) partial mitigation for this unfairness would be to have parental benefits splittable between mothers and fathers as they see fit. The employer-based system, btw, does not usually mean employers actually paying out of their pockets - normally they purchase the Short Term Disability insurance, which happens to pay for maternity as well.

  6. #6
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    I would want it to be payroll tax (with a guarantee of the woman's return to her old position). If it were the employer who's supposed to pay it, no woman who works for an employer with less than 10 employees would get it--that's how all the employer paid stuff works. And this should be for all women, or not at all.

    Furthermore, the small employer will have enough sacrifice to backfill to hold the woman's place open. I would be for the government paying for the temp (if one is needed) for small employers.

    An additional queston. Should the father get all or some of the leave instead of the mother if the couple chooses to do that? That would seem to be more fair.

    Say you have 12 weeks leave. Perhaps the mother has a higher paying job. The mother might want the first 6 weeks for health reasons and the husband the second 6 weeks for financial reasons.

  7. #7
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Some countries have that model. In Canada, "maternity" leave (mother only) is 15 weeks, but further 35 weeks are "parental" leave and can be shared with the father. It's similar in Australia, Germany, Iceland, and some other countries. In Bulgaria, a father or even a grandparent can take the leave instead of the mother.

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