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How would you respond to someone who thinks it’s unfair that new parents get paid parental leave? He seems to understand why parental leave is important (good for baby, society, etc) but ...

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Well Deloitte’s policy is family leave which applies to ailing family members as well as new borns and adoptions. So let’s expand out of PwC world And while the point of choice vs not choice in having a baby vs terminally ill parent, the option to take time off is still a choice. Like for a baby, you could pay someone else to take care of it just like you could pay for a family member’s care. And all the non-kid having people or non-time take-offing parents typically progress faster because a) didn’t take leave and b) generally work more hours because they are considered to have less of a home life, get or pick the more intensive assignments. There’s no fair or parity and their won’t and shouldn’t be. I’m a non-kid haver myself and I do not begrudge parents their time, it’s not fucking vacation. And having more work when they’re out sucks, but if I had to be out for a parent getting ill or heaven forbid my husband getting in an accident, I’d expect those parents to take on my load. Or if I got sick and had to take leave or reduce hours. Kids, sick self/relatives are NOT VACATION. You can’t achieve parity with a sabbatical or non-life event time off

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I find it everyone's reactions fascinating. I proposed early on that everyone should get discretionary leave to make it a bit more fair for those without children and many have acted as if I said something vile. I fail to understand how non-parents receiving paid leave for a similar period of time as parents would impact parents. It isn't as if something has been taken from parents in this case. It is also interesting that I said early on that I have nothing against parental leave. Though folks have acted as if I did. Additionally, I didn't want to even create a solution to make things 100% equitable (i.e. my comment about not reaching a consensus and not wanting to solution due to that), but went along with it anyhow because it is interesting to see where things go. Importantly I also avoided the entire subject of societal good because that had been conceded in the original post. Though everyone seems to have failed to recognize it. It is interesting that people don't seem to recognize that doing something for societal good doesn't necessarily make it fair. In many instances actions taken for the societal good make others worse off through no fault of their own. I'm not sure that is fair and fairness was/is the question at play. Finally D3 I have no clue what you are on about. If it is of any consultation to you no one will remember any of us in 100K years. And 100K years is just the blink of an eye when measuring time on a cosmic scale. I find it comforting to know that nothing we do matters. Then you don't have to worry about what a mess Trump is, and before people lose their minds I voted Hillary.

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I’ve heard this argument before and I find it pretty stupid. It’s like saying you should get bereavement regardless of someone close to you passing

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I have mentioned it before: companies should be focusing on paid FAMILY leave. No more babies for me but aging parents and in laws out of state put the pinch on adult kids like me One good aging parent medical event/hospital stay/need to move them out of their house/shuttle them to outpatient appointments while they recover can take weeks. It irritates me that such leave is reserved only for newborns. It should be reserved for end of life situations too.

likesmart

That’s why we have family leave. Not just for parents but can be used to care for ailing family member

likesmarthelpful

I get where he’s coming from. I’ve rationalized it to myself as it makes up for MANY sleepless nights and miserable moments my colleagues will suffer through for the next 18 years. They can have their 2-3 months of leave 😂

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He's kinda right... everyone should get discretionary leave or else it isn't fair to people without kids.

likesmart

Tell him to ask someone on maternity leave if it was easier to work, or stay home and take care of the new baby. Something tells me the sleepless nights and frequent crying aren’t exactly a “vacation."

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Call him every 20 min between the hours of 3 am and 5 am screaming at top of lungs. He may feel differently.

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BCG1 got the perfect response!

likehelpful

D2 - everybody has discretionary leave. It's called PTO.

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Punch him in the nuts so he's ineligible for life

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YES EY1. They can have those 4 months. I'm not putting up with sleepless nights and a pain in the ass kid. I'll also get to retire about 10 years early without all the expenses of a kid. Where my DINKs at?

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If people choose to have a kid in exchange for paid weeks off, let them have it. I don’t think anyone is having a kid for the purpose of getting paternal leave. Tell him if he removes an arm he can have 2 weeks off. It’s unfair to those who do not wish to remove an arm but hell if he wants it he gets it.

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A sabbatical — where one may choose to sit on a beach and sip mai tais — is not equitable to parental leave — where an employee is engaged in a different type of work. Perhaps no one has fully addressed the question of “fairness” because it’s the wrong question. This thread sounds similar to the school choice debates that were so common a few years ago. In short, some parents who sent their kids to private schools didn’t think it was fair that they still had to contribute to public school funding. They, like D2 here, seemed to be missing the point that whether any of us has no children or a dozen children, we all benefit from a decently-educated populace. Similarly, we all benefit from newborns that have had ample bonding with their parents. The mis-guided question of fairness comes up when employees who are left behind to pick up new parents’ workload view parental leave as analogous to vacation. But it isn’t. Not at all. It’s a corporate investment that allows employees to focus on work that benefits Society as a whole over work that benefits only the firm or a specific client.

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Tell him life is not fair. ;)

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Ok, so I’m a child free woman and I’ve been having lots of conversations about this recently. I fully support parental leave - you guys need it! But I do feel like I lose out on a major benefit by not having kids. I’ve expressed that I wish that the firms would offer sabbatical opportunities (maybe once every five years) for staff who don’t / can’t have children. That might make me feel a bit better about the double workloads I have to pull when new parents disappear for months at a time... Again, I’m glad you get the time, but it does feel like I’m expected to carry the extra weight because my ovaries don’t work. Of course, if it was “family leave” I would feel much differently.

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Remind him that the reason he’s on this planet is to move things forward for those who come behind him, not make money or make a cool model. If he doesn’t want to have kids, you can tell him how’s he’s selfish because he can’t comprehend someone being worth more than he is, which is any parents wish for their kids. (Well that’s how I was raised)

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Reading all of this, I am so happy I live in Sweden where 2 years paid parental leave (to be split between parents) is a societal standard. Everyone seems to define the concept of fair as everyone getting the same. It’s not. Fair is that everyone gets what they need, in order to most effectively contribute.

likeuplifting

It's a benefit to attract/retain employees. I wouldn't read into it more than that.

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Similar argument for those who serve in reserve military and get “extra vacation” when deployed or activated. I dare you to tell an Army reservist it’s not fair. Please, do this now. I’ll watch. Also, my husband is a US Army vet. He’s said several times that his tour in Afghanistan was easier than newborn twins

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This whole argument boils down to choice It is someone’s choice to have a child and as a benefit, he or she gets paid leave (and of course a child). It’s also your choice NOT to have a child and your benefit is whatever lifestyle that choice entails. Your company should not provide a benefit in this case because your choice does not warrant such a large benefit (it just doesn’t). You have the choice so it’s fair. If you CAN’T have children, you still have the choice to adopt or choose fertility treatments (most are covered at least by Accenture). There’s always a choice

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