A: This is not just a matter of discrimination, it is also a question of good business sense. By turning your back on women recruits, you could be ignoring some of the most talented people on the job market.
It might come as a surprise to you, but not all women are the same. You seem to imagine that they would all use you to help fund their, as yet unplanned, maternity leave. But a lot of them don’t want to get pregnant. Of those that do, the right characters will do all they can to make sure the job is properly covered during their absence.
Don’t look at gender, look at the candidate. Make sure you recruit personalities with talent, there is no law to stop you discriminating against selfish women with the wrong attitude.
Forget your secret fears – extended leave, whether it is due to sickness or time off to have a baby, is part of employment. If you are not prepared to take risks, you are not equipped to run a business.
With paternity leave probably soon set to match time off on maternity leave, you will face the same dilemma with men as well as women. Stop trying to guess who is going to have a baby – concentrate on finding the best person for the job.