How do you feel maternity leave should be handled? 

I know for a lot of working women in the US, many intend on having children and the way most businesses handle this is only 3 months paid leave which to me, is hardly enough to get your baby off to a happy and healthy start at life. In the UK, I believe they receive 9 to 12 months which is more acceptable. 

I think a lot of businesses simply don't want to pay this and that is why women get such short leave. 

Jeroen

Well, is it really the responsibility of companies to make sure a woman can be happy about having a baby? I think not. However, as a society my country has made such arrangements and it works out fine. Women seem quite well capable to take about two months of leave. They also seem quite happy and productive. The only difference is that now there's a baby photo on the desk and they work different hours. The dad even gets like... 4 days too.

Thing is... if you force a company to pay a woman that got a baby for 9 months without getting any productivity back, you're bound to notice that for some odd reason, women aren't getting hired. Because they'd be almost twice as expensive per produced unit as men. You may not like it (I don't), but that's how it is.

It might work, if this is paid in some form by the government, but then there'd be the issue of those chosing not to have kids, yet being forced to pay for the kids of others.

It's quite complicated...

She and I

I have known quite a few women who wait to have a family until their professional career is in full swing. When they have proven to their company that they have been productive, will continue to be productive and can be productive while out on leave. Telecommuting and consulting from a home office are only 2 examples. 

In this day and age, if your company cannot ask the woman, while on maternity leave, to still get as much work done as is realistic from her home with a newborn, that company needs to get more technologically advanced. 

I'm the person who thinks the government should butt out when it comes to employer/employee relations and rules. Besides, you would think companies would WANT to be able to give workers the option of working at home. Some of the most successful companies in the world do this.

Jeroen

Wow... I am shocked. 
Not so much about that you think a company should have the technologica means to ask a woman to work, but by the fact that you think it's okay for a company to ask the woman to work, just as she's getting used to her new role, and bonding with her newborn.

Tim

There is a principle in the business realm where it states that "a happy employee is a productive employee". I don't believe demanding a mother to work at home is ethical. To me, that is outright unethical. The reason for maternity leave is so that the mother can have all the time to take care of the newborn baby. Bringing the job in the home will only divide the time of the mother and stress out the mother in the process.

Lauren

In the US, a lot of companies actually don't pay for maternity leave.  For instance, my sister is a teacher, and during each maternity leave, she had to take the time off without pay.  I think companies actually should pay women for maternity leave because they are benfitting the future of our society by having and raising healthy children.  What mothers do by giving birth and raising children is absolutely amazing.  It's an incredibly difficult (and rewarding) job, and this work deserves compensation just like a job outside the home does.

Jeroen