MOD deny babies rights

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by error_unknown, Oct 28, 2003.

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  1. MOTHERS who take their babies to work have lost their right to take breaks to breast-feed them, following a tribunal ruling yesterday.
    The ruling came in the case of an RAF flight lieutenant who took the Ministry of Defence to an employment tribunal after she was denied the right to breast-feed her baby while on duty. Helen Williams, 31, had taken six weeks of paid maternity leave and planned to return to work, but was told that if she wanted to continue breast-feeding she should extend her leave, which would have been unpaid.

    Mrs Williams, of Bristol, left her £30,000-a-year job as an engineer and took legal action. She won, but the MoD won at an employment appeal tribunal in London yesterday, which ruled that it was unfair to expect her employers to give her time off to breast-feed.

    Five months ago the Department of Health recommended that infants should be breast-fed for at least six months.

    Mrs Williams said: “I feel very strongly that women should not have to choose between breast-feeding and returning to work. Employers can easily make adjustments.”

    The Goverment should be leading the way in combatting sexual discrimination.
    People have to work to keep a roof over their heads and food in their bellies and for half the population pregnancy and birth is a major factor in their that benefits society and must be accomodated.
    Families generally function now needing two salaries coming into the home and women are employed at all levels.
    For many women it is financially disastrous to take a six months break in their careers. For employers to be able to punish babies and mothers like this is intolerable :evil:
  2. What an absolute pile of guff, the employer is not punishing the mother or the baby, it is the mothers choice.

    Why didn't she think about these kind of situations before she had the baby.

    Why should employers put themselves out just so she can breast feed her sprog??

    She should have done one of the following:

    Express her milk into a bottle. Still breast milk and can be prepared before hand.

    Give the baby powdered milk. The powdered milk is as good as the real thing.

    Stay at home and be a good mother.

    Employ a wet nurse as they did in the old days. (Wet nurse will breast feed from her own fun bags as required).
  3. I think we as a society should think about this...not just continue to make it a financial nightmare for each career woman who has a baby.
    Because half the population of this country are women and having babies is normal ...women still need to work and pay the bills as well as raise children and should be supported and not penalised for doing so.
    Then her breasts will fill up and be very painful unless the milk is expressed
    The goverment has stated that breast milk is far superior to powdered milk. Breast is best for baby and mother.
    Unfortunately most couples need both salaries to survive and also women with careers have to stay at work to keep their skill levels up to keep their jobs and therefore survive financially.
    Yeah like there's loads of them around! :roll:
  4. I go back to my first point, if she cannot work and support a child then she should not have got pregnant in the first place, or she should stay at home and look after her child.

    You say that women with careers have to stay at work to keep their skill levels up to keep their jobs and therefore survive financially, once you have a baby you are no longer a women with a career, you are a mother.

    She decided to get pregnant, she should have thought about the consequences.

    This is not an employers problem.
  5. what more do people want?? do they want their kids to do their jobs for them??
  6. It's extremely shortsighted of any employer to risk losing an experienced/qualified employee for the sake of something that takes a few minutes a couple of times a day.

    I would be far more inclined to stop all smoke breaks. Over the length of someone's working life multiplied by the number of smokers, that's a lot of man hours lost. Add that to the amount of industrial time lost through smoking related illnesses, added onto the the cost to the taxpayer of smoking related illnesses.................why should anyone pay for someone else's addiction?

    I would also force alcoholics into rehabilitation - there is 10 times more deaths through alcohol-related disease than through the use of Class A drugs.........try counting that burden on the NHS.
  7. prodigal said
    do you know what rehab for alcoholics is? or for that matter what is an alcoholic?
    or do you mean the people who misuse to extremes.

    to counter react on the smoking related illnesses, do we then stop the wages of all people who have time off for DIY caused injuries? sports injuries? etc,and if you think about it don't smokers and drinkers contribute more to the governments funds through tax than those that don't.
    when you join any company don't they give you policies & procedures, and would it not be fair to ask if there is some worries you may forsee?

    just my take on it.
  8. Why should their employers give them time off to breast feed, if I get hungry do I get time off to have a burger - only if it's lunchtime.

    She should have taken more maternity leave to cover this eventuality or express her breastmilk, or is she planning to take her baby into work and feed them every 2-3 hours whenver he/she starts crying - get real !!

    You have 9 months to plan a pregnancy and no one forces them to come back into the service afterwards. There is always a choice, stay and accept the rules or go and breastfeed as and when you want to.

  9. Now it's always baffled me. Most women (not all) want children and Some women (not all) want to have a career, and if they want to take their career seriously they have to make commitments and sacrafices... the same way that men who are serious and ambitious have to.

    Why is it that 'career' women, as soon as they decide that they want a child (and a family is a serious commitment in anyones books) their career is put on hold and then takes second place for the next ten years or so? (Or the child does!)

    Does this show commitment and ambition to their employers? Employers are by law expected to hold their position open until the end of maternity leave without the gurarantee that their employee will even come back to work. If she does, he can now expect that she may ask for extra time off to breast feed during working hours, or could until the courts decided that was too much.

    If an employer has the choice of two equally qualified potential employees, one male and one female, and considering the above, which one would you expect hime to choose..... not discrimination, maybe good business?

    You shout for more and more concessions for mothers you are just forcing employers into 'discrimination' or everyone into unemployment as there aren't so many silly rules in the developing world!!!

    Well, that's my opinion anyway 8O
  10. For most of us it's a case of having to have a career (which is as important to us as it is to you men) so that we get to eat and keep a home.

    At some point in our lives women (like men) want to have their children. Major sacrifices are made by both sexes over the next couple of decades as that child is raised.
    If the woman gives up her career to care fulltime for their baby, she, who has lost her work in the real world, and her man who then has all the financial responsibilty are both sacrificing.....and for the sake of the child this is of course fine.
    (The dangers come of course if the marriage breaks up and the woman is left careerless, providerless, husbandless and on benefit..or having to be the breadwinner and the fulltime parent....oh what wrath society spews at her then! )Anyway I digress...
    Because women usually have little choice! This is our reality! We HAVE to work to live..and we focus on our careers like men do.....once we are with child we become instantly vulnerable and are at the mercy of the goodwill of forward thinking employers. Generally employers are not orientated to families needs and we are treated by employers as disposable (and this is sanctioned by rulings such as this latest one).
    Prodigals points were spot on and It's a male led world that sees the fairness in allowing fag breaks but not breastfeeding breaks.
    Babies are not that selfish women who haven't thought things through have! We NEED a well cared for next generation..we also NEED women in the they NEED to work to survive.
    And this is what the government should not be encouraging. Women who responsibly bear and raise children shouldn't be punished and penalised like this. We as a society should work to support and provide adequate workplace facilities for women rearing children. If men would join this fight in making employers more family friendly...NOT just for women but for fathers too things would be better for families.
    Dads...say no to your boss if you have a sports day or a parents evening to attend ...employers need to be stopped from the damage they inflict on families while they are allowed to get away with their money grabbing use and drop policies.....through the easy target of the pregnant or nursing mother.
  11. It's an economic reality that as many women work as men (in fact, there are more women now employed than men - mostly still in part time jobs however). That reality is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

    Taking that on board, there are also other realities that then come into play. Let's not place the emphasis entirely on the 'mother' perspective - generally the decision to have a child is taken by both the mother and father - 'family friendly' policies have been proved to be beneficial for parents, children and for employers (in terms of productivity and retention) - according to a number of polls carried out recently, both more women and men would stay at home with their children IF they had a choice.

    I suggest, by focussing on one narrow aspect of the parent/child/work/life balance, the wider picture is not being seen. The wider picture suggests that it is beneficial commercially and socially to have family friendly (and flexible) working conditions.

    Ex Dvr, my post on alcoholics and smokers was slightly extreme (as much to provoke a debate). The gist of my view I stick with though - there is a huge amount of time taken from the working day by smoking. And as for rehabilitation of alcoholics, I'm not a medic and I don't know what's involved. Yes, have experience of them, two have married into my family and they have completely annihilated the lives of my relatives - no children, no money, no social life, no life insurance and no future worth speaking of.
  12. And this is what I meant by my very last point...... too many concessions and you just move the employment market to the developing world where it would then be affordable again and we all lose!

    You seem to be set in the mindset that every woman WILL end up raising a child on their own..... I know several couples where the male stays at home ant looks after the children because she has the better job. You can't have a society where everyone works, so maybe there should be laws that say that only one person of a couple living together can work full time and spread the burden of child care between them?? Never going to be an ideal world!
  13. Plant Pilot, I do understand where you're coming from, but the way this nation (and other westernised democracies ) are structured, Govenments WANT as many people in work as possible - their taxes pay for ever increasing costs of hospitals, school and wars abroad........

    I honestly don't know how anyone on one salary gets on the housing ladder, for example - how are two people with a family to support going to manage it? It's just one example, but one that most of us have come across, I suspect.

    I am something of an anomaly I admit - I run my own business, from home - I am also a single parent. Coincidentally, I have been offered two 'proper' jobs in the last few weeks and turned both down - because they appeared to not be able to offer me the flexibility I need, to be the kind of parent I want to be. One company and I have had further talks where they made it clear they are very willing to be flexible (ie continue working from home, I set my own agenda etc) - they have done this because they want what I offer. They could have found a man instead (where, according to the arguments put forward, they wouldn't have to worry about any of these issues - supposedly) , but they didn't - because they don't see my family as a problem.

    Wouldn't you say that we are way beyond the time where one parent (and I fully accept the point made about stay at home dads - more power to them I say) is expected to stay at home? What about building up pensions - another reason to stay in work!
  14. she was earning 30+ k per annum, so a little voluntary leave aint going to leve her broke.

    the MOD werent forcing her to leave, her job was safe. Just asking for a full days work.

    If she was well liked and good at her job, im sure the CO would have given her some discretion to breastfeed in private in her office. did she make it too awkward for everyone else just to make a point???

    i recall overhearing a conversation between a very rotund RAF female groundcrew and another who shall remain unnamed, and the junior rank couldnt believe her luck as following giving birth her MO had permanently medically downgraded her and she was only then suited for admin/desk work.

    when do people realise that some other poor sod(usually a bloke but not always) doesnt get to see their kids because they are on ops so much without rotation, because the people that could relieve them are working the system??[/i]
  15. Get the concessions and arangements right and you will get more work and better quality work out of people!
    Of course this was the way things were before the 2nd world war and the real stirrings of the feminist movement. Unfortunately whilst many women would love to be fulltime mums, the economy has adjusted to women working and it now requires two salaries to achieve what used to be paid for by women who give up careers to be the stay at home mum often also have to take on part time work to assist the father in providing enough income.
    If we could return to a financial situation where a greater percentage of women could afford to be stay at home mums I'm confident many couples would choose this.
    Unfortunately I cannot see any easy way to force change unless the government genuinely starts to value family life.
    I don't know how many generations it will take for women to want to return to caring for their man and their child as their primary role, leading to a happier and more stable society...but no doubt that day will come.