Friday, July 2, 2010


Read this and weep people.  My girlfriend in Germany is due to have her first baby in six weeks time and is already sitting in the sun, watching Germany kick everyone’s arses in the world cup and enjoying her fully paid maternity leave.  I don’t know how long she gets once the baby arrives, I didn’t want to ask! 
Now, I know from having lived in the states, that maternity leave ain’t great over there, but then I come home and (never having paid any attention to it before) have discovered it ain’t much better here.  Which prompted an internet search and although it’s a study from 2001, it was the only thing I could find.  Check it out.  Australia looks rather pathetic.  I know fixing maternity leave was on the agenda with the previous Prime Minister, but I think our new PM is busy fighting the miners and re-establishing our environmental position, babies is probably a little down the track.
Now, I’ve never had a real job where you accrue days in lieu, or where sick leave doesn’t mean ‘sure you can take your day off, I’ll readjust your pay.’  And as for bonuses, they seem like monopoly money to me, so not getting maternity leave doesn’t faze me in the slightest.  But what about you people with real jobs?  Did the baby bonus help you out?  Did you plan and budget your babies around your income?  Gregory and I didn’t.  We figured we’ve found a way to make things work so far, and the peanut won’t know our financial status for a few years at least.  Money is so boring.  I hate that we have to think about it, particularly at a time that really should be filled with baby bonnets and cute white booties, not the banal realities of everyday life.
Based on that list, if I could have my baby anywhere, I may be tempted to pick Norway.  So long as it was the summer.  How ‘bout you?

1 comment:

  1. Catch 22 - Our Baby bonus paid for our obstetrician! The bonus has since gone up but I hear Ob's fees have increased in line with baby bonus! ( off course they say it is due to increase insurance premiums)

    Most big businesses pay 18 weeks full pay now in Australia ( 36 weeks half pay ) and some public sector agreements allow for more. Not so sure on small business and what they need to pay by law.

    So for us the baby bonus did help but I certainly wouldn't be having a baby to get it. It goes no-where near the ongoing costs of raising children but it did contribute towards some of the up-front costs. Better than nothing!


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