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Debate: Paid maternity leave

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Should society provide three month paid maternity leave?

Background and context

When women get pregnant and have a baby, they are forced to take time off work. But sometimes this means that they have no income coming in and some are even forced to return to work while looking after their newborn baby. Governments around the world have considered introducing a paid maternity leave system where mums can have 3 - 6 months off work to look after their baby, while still getting an income. Some businesses and companies already do this.

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Do working mothers need 3 months of maternity leave when having a baby?

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Yes

  • It is impossible for mothers to keep working when giving birth and looking after a newborn baby. New parents are usually very busy looking after their child and they would find it impossible to work while doing this. It is absolutely necesssary to enforce that the mothers get a fair paid maternity leave and can handle the work and stress of having the baby.


  • New mothers cannot handle the stress of working when trying to look after a baby. Mothers who have recently given birth to newborn babies need maternity leave. These mothers cannot handle the stress of working when looking after a young baby and need time off work.
  • Mothers also need to breastfeed. Mothers simply cannot work, look after a newborn baby and breastfeed at once. They are not machines. New mothers need to breastfeed the children every few hours and can't do this if they are forced to go to work.
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No

  • It does not take three months to have a baby. Mothers really just need a few days off to have the baby, then a few weeks; maybe up to a month to look after the baby. After that, the parent should be able to return to work. It does not take three months just to have a baby.
  • Women with important jobs can't afford to take too much time off. Women with important jobs that they can't take much time off if they want to keep their job, really shouldn't take too much time off work. It is not efficient.
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Can small businesses afford to pay someone for three months when they're not working?

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Yes

  • The government could provide this pay. If the government introduced this scheme, they should be the ones paying the salaries of new mums, not struggling businesses. It makes much more sense.



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No

  • Small businesses usually can't afford to pay someone who's not working for three months. If a mother working in a small business takes three months of paid maternity leave, most small business are small and can't afford to pay someone who isn't working. Not only will they have to pay someone who isn't working, but they'll have to hire someone else and pay them too for three months. Many businesses wouldn't be able to do this and unfortunately business profit would be effected negatively. For the government to enforce working mothers must get at least three months of paid maternity leave would not be look after business who the owners also have a family they need to provide for.
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Does maternity leave have to be paid?

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Yes

  • Mothers having a baby can't afford to stop getting an income for three months while they are forced to go on leave. In many cases, mothers have been forced to return to work during maternity leave because they don't have enough money. Most large companies can certainly afford to pay someone to go on necessary leave for three months and should. If they are not, they are making the mother and the family struggle with expenses and in some cases families have gone broke.


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No

  • Usually if the father is working, there is still an income coming into the household. The father usually works and if the mother goes on leave to have a baby, the father would still get paid and provide money for the family. Mothers don't necessarily need or deserve money when they are not working because there is still enough money and the father would still bring into the family an income or salary. And, it's not as if it's the case that when you stop working, you suddenly have absolutely no money - there would still be money in the bank or somewhere else.
  • The mothers get leave anyway - getting paid is not the idea. Mothers only need leave when having a baby. They don't extra money from their job for not doing anything. Leave is really all the mothers need and paid maternity leave is just an unnecessary luxury.

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