Here’s what’s wrong with Trump’s parental leave plan

Donald and Ivanka Trump standing behind a Trump/Pence podium with an American flag in the background

Donald Trump has released his paid parental leave plan, which, like most things Trump, is insulting to women and woefully inadequate.

The Trump plan offers 6 weeks’ paid leave for new parents. You could argue that this is better than nothing, which is how much paid leave American parents are guaranteed at the moment, but it’s clear that he just kind of threw this plan together in between tweeting gems like:

Of course the Australians have better healthcare than we do –everybody does. ObamaCare is dead! But our healthcare will soon be great

Well, he’s right about the first part. Because, let’s be honest:

Six weeks of leave is a joke.

Six weeks is barely enough time to recover from shoving a baby out of your hoo-ha in the standard fashion. You’ll need longer if you’ve had a caesarean section or complications.

At six weeks postpartum, you’re so exhausted you’re barely functioning. Your boobs are leaking. You’ve barely had a chance to get acquainted with the very small person that you’re now responsible for. And they need you. They may not even have discovered their hands yet, FFS. This plan gives exactly zero fucks about what the baby’s needs are.

And here’s the other big problem:

The program would be funded by the already underfunded unemployment insurance system.

Trump’s team has yet to release how much money parents would actually receive, but unemployment payments tend to be quite small – about 50% of a person’s paycheck. That’s not going to be enough to cover a mother’s expenses while she’s off on leave. And her medical bills from giving birth are likely to be high, because, you know, no Obamacare. So she’s probably going to be worse off financially than she would have been if Trump had just kept his comically small hands out of all these government programs in the first place.

This whole funding-parental-leave-with-unemployment-money idea isn’t new. Apparently Clinton tried this back in the 90s and it eventually got shut down because it violated federal law. Unemployment benefits require people to be available to work – and people on parental leave aren’t available to work. The Trump administration would have to overturn that ruling before they could even get this plan going – and then they’d still have to tackle the fact that each state’s unemployment system is totally different.

Good luck with that.

In the end, what it really comes down to is this:

New parents deserve better. A lot better.

We need time off heal to our bodies and adjust to our babies, and we shouldn’t go broke while we’re doing it.

Lots of countries get this. Sweden. Denmark. Norway. Lithuania.

Yeah, that’s right. Lithuania. Who would have thought, right? But new mums in Lithuania get 18 weeks of fully paid leave, dads get four weeks, and then they get an additional 156 weeks to share. For the shared portion, the parents can either have it paid out at 100% until the child turns one, or 70% until the child is one, and then 40% until the child is two. The rest of the weeks are unpaid.

The world would be a better place if we were all a little bit more Lithuanian.

Top image © Michael Vadon

Rhyming with Wine
Tammymum

14 Replies to “Here’s what’s wrong with Trump’s parental leave plan”

  1. I find it shocking how little leave mothers in the USA receive. We had a lady where I used to work who came back to work in our states branch 7 days after having her baby.

  2. Wow the deal Lithuania has is amazing. It sounds like Trump had really missed the point. If this is the best Ivanka can do in influencing get dad then she’s going to be of very little use…

  3. as a Lithuanian and a Trump hater, I love this post

  4. Wow it never fails to amaze me just how shocking America’s health care is, for such a rich and developed country it is practically draconian. 6 weeks is just nothing, I couldn’t of gone back to work after 6 weeks after my first and my boy would have only been out the hospital a week and not even ‘term’ by that point. It’s just bonkers to think that were I across the pond I would of had to go back to work. The Lithuanians do have the right idea though, we all could all do with being a little more Lithuanian I think. Thanks for joining us at #familyfun

  5. Yikes that is not a deal at all. It’s scary. I know I didn’t go back to work myself but at 6 weeks that’s not thinkable there is no way I’d have coped with that’. It’s utterly shite!!! ‪Thank you for linking up to the #familyfunlinky‬

  6. Get a grip USA. That’s ridiculous.
    #DreamTeam

  7. Your last sentence made me spit tea! Loved this. I definitely was not ready physically or mentally after 6 weeks. What are people thinking? Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime 🎉

  8. 6 weeks is a mockery! This new administration seem to be totally unplugged from what people NEED. I feel disgusted that they can get away with treating parents like this – ultimately forcing them to return to work and leaving their child. Great post as always #Ablogginggoodtime

  9. I am sickened by this. WTF? That man has got to go. And women’s rights need to take a major priority in US politics. The US needs a major reality check! Urgh!!!!!
    #ablogginggoodtime

  10. I never knew the Lithuanians had this thing sussed! Ugh 6 weeks is a joke, I wasn’t fully healed and I didn’t even have a c section! I can’t say I am surprised though, I wasn’t really anticipating that Trump would pull it out of the bag… he’s awful. #ablogginggoodtime

  11. Any plan that includes the word Trump is almost certain to be flawed in someway. But that’s just …! Wow

  12. I think we all need to move to Lithuania!
    #ablogginggoodtime

  13. Honestly, you don’t need to know anything about any so-called “plan” other than it’s got Trump’s name on it, and you know right then it’s complete garbage. I can’t stand that guy. #ablogginggoodtime

  14. He will fight tooth and nail to stop abortions, no matter the reason, yet do nothing to help the parents or the baby once he/she leaves the womb. He is bringing us back to the dark ages. I am frightened on so many levels. #dreamteam

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