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This isn’t right: UK minister might get 6-month paid maternity leave, a policy not offered to the public

Warrington vs Leeds, 13March2015, Photo: Anthony Moretti

The Guardian reports the UK parliament is about to rush into a law a bill that will give select female politicians six months of full paid maternity leave. If you think all women throughout the UK are given the same rights, you’re fooling yourself.

According to the Guardian, there’s widespread criticism of the plan.

“What message does it send to the thousands of pregnant women facing redundancy and job insecurity in the pandemic or any of those considering entering public life at any level, if parliament treats maternity leave as a bonus like a company car to be given only to those at the top?”

Now, let me be crystal clear: I have no objection to women being given this extended time away after having a baby with full pay. (It would be good to give fathers such a benefit, as well.) I think it’s terribly unfair the plan is for only a limited number of women, specifically Cabinet ministers.

If I understand British law correctly, Cabinet ministers have benefits separate from the public. Nevertheless, their service to the country cannot be seen as having a benefit that all women should receive.

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