This week we asked the man/woman in the street for their take on the proposed six months of maternity leave for women. Their views follow:
Hester Hutson: `It’s too long. I agree with a four months. When you go back, it’s like you gotta start all over again, especially if you’re training—because these days, these young people just get a job and before a year is up, they’re pregnant. So you know, just to give them the six months, I feel it is too long. Most babies now, the mothers, they don’t want their breasts to get long, so staying home at six months to breast feed them is wasting time because these babies aren’t taking breast now, and the mothers aren’t finding time to nurse the babies’.
Roshan Rahaman: `Yes, at least the baby will get a little more breast feeding. Because, you know, a mother is supposed to breast feed for at least two years, according to the rights. By getting that extra three months, I feel that’s good. I doubt businesses will want to, only government might give it to you. If not six, then just add a little more to the three months, three months is too short’.
Simon (only name given): `I think it’s very good for them, they need to give them indeed. That don’t mean they’re gonna make all those women run out there, saying that they’re sending those women to get pregnant so they could throw back and get six months’ pay for nothing. But for those who have a job and have to leave the job just for the children, that’s right. That’s very good. As a father, I agree with it. I’m a father of seven. I agree’.
Dale Fraser: `Six months isn’t too long, those women need time to heal themselves properly. Some of them don’t feel well after they just had a baby, some can’t wash their clothes right away. But sometimes people pressure them to wash it. They have to look into it, everybody might have their own different views and so. But my point is that they should do it, give those ladies a little time off. Six months is nice for them. Let them relax home, catch themselves properly, and then go back out to work. It’s a good idea. I like that.’
Talicia Roberts: `I do think it’s a good thing because women, often, when they have babies and so on, when they’re home, they have more time to spend with the child and it helps them to heal. So after three months, it’s not enough for a woman that has just given birth because it can be stressful. Also, the newborn baby will need their mother’s attention more at that stage. I do think some businesses will find it difficult because if they have two or three women with newborn babies and are going out for six months, they will have more workload and it will affect that business in many ways.’
Pratima Singh: `That would be better because at least you will get time to spend with your baby and stuff like that. So you will get time to experience how your baby is growing, getting to spend time with them, you’re actually getting their love and stuff like that. I don’t think six months should be added on because that is a very long time. At least like four months, that should be okay. An extra month would be okay, rather than six months’.
Deonarine Bisnauth: `I think six months is okay, because, remember a pregnant mother has a lot of things to consider—bedrest, then she has to look after the child. It’s a lot of things behind it. I think the private sector would give the six months, although yes, the businesses might suffer too, all that you have to consider. But I don’t think six months is too long.’
Camille Lall: `I think it is wise for the government to do that. After the three months sometimes a mother cannot afford to put the child in a day care or have a baby sitter right after giving birth. The six months would also allow the mother to spend time with the child.’
Carolyn Garraway: `The six months maternity leave should happen. Three months is too short for maternity leave because the child is not grown enough to know the mother. I think the six months would help the mother and child to have a bond‘.
Melissa Johnson: `I don’t think they should have six months because some people would want to abuse it by getting pregnant steady. If they want to have a six months maternity leave it should be with a condition based on the health of the mother. Sometimes a mother would go through caesarean and that mother would need time to heal or they should think of a four months maternity leave. Six months is too long, what would happen in a work place where let’s say two persons go on six months leave at the same time, the work load on other staff would be heavy and it is not fair. The government should consider all these factors before putting the six months as a part of the law.’