April 8, 2008
The US has the stingiest parental leave policies in the world, so apparently some companies are now trying something new. According to a number of recent articles, at least 83 companies are now encouraging mothers to bring their pre-crawling babies to the office. There's even an organization dedicated to promoting Babies in the Workplace which claims that "having babies out in society gives people who otherwise don't see babies an opportunity to enjoy the calming and rejuvenating effect of them. " Uh-huh. I could say the same for puppies and loud hip-hop music.
As you can imagine, not all co-workers like the idea:
"I do not go to work every day to listen to the breeders' brats scream all day and to smell their baby poo diapers. And I certainly don't want to walk past a cubicle to see some woman breastfeeding her baby. NO."
Actually, that quote sounds like it's from someone who just hates kids in general.
There's a lot that doesn't seem good about this trend. As Zoe Williams points out: "If you're being asked to do your job and your childcare at the same time, the implication is that one of those things is not work."
Many of the bosses and parents quoted in these stories act like this is a great benefit. Compared to no paid parental leave, I guess it's not a bad thing. But I hardly think most parents would choose to bring their cute little screamer to work if they only had some more appealing options.
TrackBack URL for this entry: