HR & Management

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“Generous maternity benefits are sabotaging women’s careers”

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“There has been a sea change on maternity leave and flexible work and we welcome that,” she told The Times. “But the effect has been to reinforce some traditional patterns.

“The Work and Families Act has not freed parents and given them real choice. It’s based on assumptions, and some of the terms reinforce the traditional pattern of women as the carers of children.”

So what does she suggest? Take away the generous maternity rights that women have long campaigned for? Feminists would burn their bras in protest. Give fathers the same childcare rights as women (52 weeks)? Business owners would go spare.

“This country has become obsessed with diversity. I’m sick of it,” says Mike Bokaie, owner of £9.3m-turnover Caspian Publishing. “I don’t care if an employee is black, white, male or female. You should employ people based on their individual talents."

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