Will the government mess up birth leave AGAIN?

Birth leave is expected to replace parental leave soon. On this issue, the government will launch a consultation with the trade unions on Wednesday 15 May. Will he be completely out of his league again?

When it comes to parenting, we still have the right to a government that is most disconnected from reality. The last test? President Emmanuel Macron’s remarks on “fathers’ visitation rights” during an interview for the magazine She just a few days ago.

And what is the government’s new workhorse for the months to come? The creation of birth leave, which already seems to miss the point, attacking the wrong people.

Birth leave instead of parental leave

This was announced by Sarah El Hairy, minister delegate for the family, in an interview with The gallery A consultation with trade unions, employers and associations will be launched on Sunday 12 May regarding the establishment of birth leave. The latter should replace the current parental leave starting from 2025.

In the interview available on She, Emmanuel Macron had already outlined this new leave in broad terms:

[Le congé de naissance sera de] three months for mothers, three months for fathers, cumulative during the first year of the child’s life, and compensated up to 50% of the salary up to the Social Security ceiling.

The President of the Republic for Elle magazine

Parental leave currently entitles you to a monthly package of 448 euros per month, for one year, renewable twice. Basically, you can be on parental leave until the child is 3 years old at most, which the government currently deems too long.

Sarah El Hairy justifies the implementation of this new parental leave:

Today parental leave entitles you to a monthly package of 448 euros. Is not enough. Its duration is long. This distances women, often the most precarious, from the world of work.. I would add that the use of this aid has collapsed, which demonstrates the need for the reform announced by the President of the Republic. With birth leave, the father and mother will be able to stay for three months each, when a bond for life will be formed.

They will be paid 50% of the salary and a maximum of 1,900 euros. With this ceiling we create a new right for the middle classes. Obviously, willing employers will be able to contribute to the project.

Birth leave, a wrong idea

But concretely, what will happen after the three months of birth leave? Let’s go back to square one, minus the fee.

Yes, because let’s remember that if mothers – because they are the majority who take parental leave – put their careers on hold for months following the birth of their child, it is not JUST for pleasure. Some do it by choice, it’s true. But for others, it is often also to compensate for the terrible lack of childcare in France. Places in nursery schools, places with a nanny, costs of this type of childcare… Often, unfortunately, there are no other solutions for families than for the mother (and more rarely the father) to stop working until the child goes to school.

So, what will families do three months after birth leave? What will especially the more modest families who counted, even if little, on the payment of parental leave allowance until the child turns three years old do? Many families, and especially mothers, will find themselves, as usual, left behind. Once again, this project proposed by the government seems above all to be a good social break, on his couch of budget savings. Because it won’t be wealthy families who will be harmed, we know that.

Birth leave, a project to be reworked

Before talking about returning to work for mothers who have just given birth, parental leave should be reduced by claiming greater inclusiveness for co-parents by allowing them to also spend the three months with the family – not mandatory, therefore, as we know it well well, they will not be accepted by the majority: a total overhaul is needed to truly integrate families into society.

The priority here, if there must be one, is the sustainable and effective development of childcare options for the little ones. In this regard, the Minister delegated to the Family announces an investment of another 6 billion euros by 2027. For a reform that should be implemented in 2025, the figures are a bit hit and miss, aren’t they? First invest, then reform. Stop making waves by sugarcoating the little that the most precarious have, and then becoming indignant at the fact that mothers, once again, cannot adequately educate their children.

These permanent conflicts do not advance anyone, they only create ever greater and ever more unjust disparities.

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Source: Madmoizelle

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