Adding to employment burdens

The coalition government has announced a widening of the provision of maternity and paternity leave, allowing partners (I am sure I should not say husbands and wives!) to share their entitlement to maternity/ paternity leave.

I have to save that I find this difficult to believe.  I thought the Conservative party of government understood the high cost of many employment protection laws and was minded to sweep many away.  Instead, we find a new obligation on employers, whether they are a multi-national or a high street sole trader.   

Apparently a husband and wife can decide which of them should claim maternity/paternity leave! Imagine you are a plumber or a plasterer with one, two or three employees. You already face all the hassle of payroll, taxation, employment law, health & safety and a whole list of other constraints on running a business and making a modest profit.  You now face the uncertainty of one of your team deciding they are going to stay at home to care for a child with all the problems not to mention costs of finding a replacement for the period of leave.

This can be hard enough for a big business but very difficult for a small trader.  This just feels so non-Conservative to leave me wondering if it is a compromise to the Liberal side of the coalition.   I hope so.

About Keith R Mitchell CBE

Qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1967. Pursued a successful career in financial training and publishing until selling his interests in 1990. Elected a County Councillor for the Bloxham Division in 1989. Leader of Oxfordshire County Council 5 November 2001 to 15 May 2012. Chairman of the South East England Regional Planning Committee July 2002 to July 2005. Chairman of the South East England Regional Assembly July 2005 to July 2008. In HM the Queen’s 2007 Birthday Honours, appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in recognition of services to local government.
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