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August 11, 2007

Womens' Rights

I have a feeling that this is actually illegal:

Rights rule rather than common sense. The result? Recruitment agencies now report that they are being asked by employers not to send over CVs of women of child-bearing age.

But illegal or not, can't say that I'm surprised it is happening. By making those who do have children more expensive to employ, there's going to be a reluctance to employ any who might. And thus the second derivative as it were, of the gender pay gap. Career breaks and time out of the labour market are some of it, the fear that this might happen the second part.

Once again, laws to "protect" women in the labour market end up harming them.

August 11, 2007 in Feminism | Permalink


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Exactly. All these unintended consequences of extending employment rights were predicted long ago - try Gary Becker: Human Capital (1964 and 3rd. ed. 1993) and his Nobel lecture: The economic way of looking at life (1992):

The only credible rational explanation for the employment rights legislation is that the government's 80 or so special advisers are post-grad economic illiterates.

Any suggestions about anti-gravity laws which are urgently needed as part of the government's relentless modernisation programme?

Think of the huge potential savings in healthcare costs to the NHS occasioned by senior citizens who presently fall and injure themselves as well as all the injuries caused by falling out of bed.

With anti-gravity laws the government will be able to close down even more A&E departments in hospitals with greater confidence.

Posted by: Bob B | Aug 11, 2007 11:08:03 AM

Unless you suspect that it's all a PLOT to divert nubile women from employment in the market sector to the government sector, there to fall prey to Deputy Prime Ministers.

Posted by: dearieme | Aug 11, 2007 3:15:53 PM

The local superstore where I regularly buy groceries, has a section selling popular and family books as well as the current chart-topping paperbacks at appropriately discounted prices.

Among the last, presently ranked at No 12 in the display, was: "Confessions of a Working Girl" by Miss S, published by Penguin Books.

This is the inspiring autobiographical account by a student who sought to avoid accumulating a student loan to finance her college education by working instead part-time at a conveniently situated brothel at the end of the road where her student accommodation was located and where her youthful age did not seem to pose any insurmountable impediment to her successful and enterprising employment. If anything, quite the opposite.

The book is disarmingly explicit, written in a feisty style a tad reminiscent of a computer manual for intermediate users - namely, an occasional page of detailed instructions after the fashion of click this, scroll down and strike key X, all interspersed with pages of effusions about the wonderful experience of working with Windows. Included in the book is extensive information about the menu of service options, together with relating tariffs, and many handy tips for enhancing productivity subject to health and safety constraints. At the end, she reckoned that she had earned about twice as much net as she would have earned working at a checkout in a local supermarket.

This is obviously an alternative route to gainful employment for young women of child-bearing age who otherwise encounter difficulties in finding jobs.

Posted by: Bob B | Aug 11, 2007 5:21:41 PM

It happens and it's a global phenomenon. Some freinds of mine in the employment agency business here in SA mention it all the time.

And it's not just for "rights costs" either. They were once asked by a client not to send any cv's from people living in Benoni or Alberton. The client didn't want staff who spoke with the distinctive (and irritating) Vaalie working class accent that predominates in those places. Kinda like saying, "don't bother sending any cv's from Scousers or Geordies".

Posted by: The Remittance Man | Aug 12, 2007 12:05:30 PM

"Kinda like saying, 'don't bother sending any cv's from Scousers or Geordies'."

They're already on to that problem in Sunderland:

"A secondary school which has opened an on-site call centre where pupils can practise selling mobile phone contracts and answering customer complaints has been criticised for lowering children's expectations. . . "

Posted by: Bob B | Aug 12, 2007 12:13:01 PM