Still in the dark ages

Feb 08 2008 by Derek Torres Print This Article

It's been the 21st century for a few years now, yet it always seems that some groups haven't quite escaped the mindset of the 19th century.

One such group might be Australian employers, some of whom seem to treat such basic workplace rights, such as maternity leave, as optional (at best).

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, research shows this problem to be widespread! In fact, in 2007, 54 women lost their jobs during their pregnancy whilst another 47 were made redundant or had no job to come home to after their leave.

That's not the way the law was meant to work when it was enacted in 1979. Over 75 per cent of these women had been in the employ of the same company for over a year at the time of dismissal, which makes such number all the more outrageous.

On these very pages, you've read about forward-thinking companies that allow for expanded maternity leave, flexible work hours or environments Ė even paternity leave! It's amazing that we still have to report, and women have to experience Ė on egregious violations of labor laws. Perhaps it's time to start naming companies, managers, and HR directors who tolerate or propagate such an unacceptable work culture.