NEW fathers across Britain could take a year’s paid leave to look after their babies under plans outlined by one of the Prime Minister’s closest allies.But fathers have always been able to ask for a year's paid leave. The question is: will his employer agree? It's called the free market.
And Mr Milburn ...
... also wants all workers to be allowed to ask for flexible working hours.Again, who's stopping them "asking" now? What exactly is Mr Milburn getting at? You can probably guess the answer:
The plans were set out in a speech to a think-tank in London in which Mr Milburn called on the government to do more to help parents balance work and home life.So it's not about employees being "allowed" to ask for more favourable working conditions; it's about employers being forced to agree to them. By the state.
Mr Milburn quit the Cabinet last year to spend more time with his family. Insisting life felt "a million times better" since leaving the frontbench, he admitted that not everyone could afford to "buy more time" by doing less work.That's the understatement of the century. In the private sector there is this quaint principle of something having to be produced so as to generate enough cash to meet the payroll. If Mr Milburn never spends another hour in the House of Commons he'll get paid until (at least) the next general election.
What is really galling is Mr Milburn's failure to acknowledge the truth. He speaks of "helping working parents to make choices", setting out a "strategy", "paid parental leave should be extended", "daddy months", "free (sic) child care", "codes of practice", "flexible hours" and, best of all, thinks that: "a Labour government should not ignore choice. It should redistribute it"!
This has nothing to do with "choice". Blairites never acknowledge that they want to force employers to provide all these goodies, none of which would be needed if "working parents" weren't so overtaxed in the first place.