As a pre election bribe Ed Miliband has promised to increase the amount of paternal birth leave from 2 weeks to 4 weeks. Let’s look how much this will cost our economy. If we say that the average salary for a father’s week in the UK is £600 (obviously the economic cost is far higher) and that there are 700,000 births a year, then that is £420,000,000 lost per week of paternity leave. Or approaching a billion pounds wasted by Ed’s 2 extra week proposal. So Ed wants spend nearly £1 billion pounds a year of other people’s money to buy votes. Typical Labour.
Who will pay for this? The initial financial cost will be borne by taxpayers for public sector jobs and by customers for private sector jobs. So that means YOU will be paying for this bribe. But it is even worse. If we take a man year as 48 weeks, then this will take 30,000 man years of work out of the UK economy.
Paternity leave should be precisely zero. It is just a factor that makes our economy less efficient and all goods and services more expensive. We managed to survive without it until 2003. Its effect is for non parents to subsidise parents. What is really needed is for employers to exercise their discretion and/or the use of annual holiday leave. Forcing everyone else to pay for this subsidy is plain immoral.