I don't like the branding "Granny Leave" because it reinforces the idea that women should do unpaid caring and that they should be facilitated to do this. The fact is women do the vast majority of unpaid work, many do this through a sense of loyalty, socialised into thinking we make the best carers and thinking there is some moral superiority to undertaking unpaid work.
I'm not a granny but I am sandwiched between two generations both requiring significant levels of care, perhaps Mr Hunt would like to address this. Women are leaving it later to have children, my mother was 30 I was 30 and I have several friends who are also late 30's & 40's who don't have grandchildren but their own children to care for whilst having to care for elderly parents. Its not then about having the choice to give up work and care for grandchildren but about asking whether you can even afford to give up some work to look after your own children. Or having the choice to work if childcare is too expensive.
My father is now 83 and going blind but my own children are only 8 and 12. Not so many years ago before L.As started to outsource, privatise and cut back on social care paying peanuts to zero hrs staff my father would have received some help. Fast forward 13 years and we have Mr Hunt and others like him asking, why have care standards fallen and why is social care falling apart, how can we make further cuts to services and how can we get women to undertake not paid care work but UNPAID care work.
My suggestion is that investment is poured into social care. That care workers be paid a good living wage, that through training and qualifications care work can be finally rewarded and perceived as having a higher social status and that great efforts are made to encourage vast swathes of men into the "profession"
yes, the concept 'job' relies on someone else being at home doing the domestic/care work. that needs to change so the norm is working hours feasible for a woman with elderly rellies and youngish dc's all dependant on her for some care. That is then the normal terms & conditions for all workers. No disadvantage for rights, promotion, anything. unions & political parties should adopt this policy
What an utterly ridiculous article. And in the Independent - they are usually a bit better for this sort of thing.
And they have decided to brand it "granny leave" DESPITE the fact that the tory minister has said it should apply to me and women.
I also noticed on a BBC piece about only children the other day the idea that a "lack of older sisters" would mean there was no-one to care for the elderly.
Why not talk about the thing as the minister presented it ie for everyone and then point out that these types of responsibilities often fall to women and the issues surrounding that.
The way they have done this totally reinforces the idea that unpaid caring is "women's work" and I think we need this idea challenged and think of ways to balance all this stuff better in society especially as with an ageing population the problem is only going to get more acute.