Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Keep the red flag flying

One of my favourite libraries is the Working Class Movement Library, based in Salford, which has some great on-line resources. There are milestones in the history of employment rights and trade unions, many of which, of course, feature official publications. It's got a blog, too.
What I love about the library is that it's developed from the personal collection of Ruth and Eddie Frow, both avid book collectors, who devoted their lives to the labour movement.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Who to discriminate against...?

The Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS) currently has a consultation on paternity leave. The proposals would give fathers a right to up to six months extra leave which can be taken once the mother has returned to work. Interesting, in light of the recent row about women's maternity rights allegedly "backfiring" (as reported by millionaire businesswoman Nichola Pearse, to the Treasury Select Committee inquiry "Women in the City"). She claims that "excessive" maternity leave stops employers hiring women of child-bearing age, due to the "nightmare" which ensues if they get pregnant. So, if the BIS proposals go ahead, and in the future men and women get equal amounts of parental leave, this should stop employers quietly discriminating against women of child-bearing age. Or will they simply discriminate against everyone of child-bearing age? But then they may fall foul of the age discrimation regulations. Where are all these employer-friendly automatons who don't have kids, get sick or get old?