Is this the official end of the “maternity break?” The legally sanctioned leave for new parents, meant to ease them into the demands of parenthood, may soon receive a new name as part of a novel Knesset initiative.
Backed by MK Michael Melchior, head of the Knesset's Education, Culture and Sports Committee, this new initiative seeks to eliminate the all too familiar term “maternity break” from all official state publications and correspondence.
“The word ‘break’ makes it seem as thought the parents are taking a long vacation on a beach somewhere, and can then return to work tanned, rested and happy,” says MK Melchior.
“The truth of the matter is that the exact opposite is true: The months following the birth of a child are a trying, exhausting, time for new parents, and are incredibly demanding both physically and mentally.
The term ‘break’ gives employees the mistaken assumption that this time away from the office is a ‘bonus’ or ‘gift’ for new parents, where it is in fact a necessity” said Melchior.
Changing the term “maternity break” may also serve to alter employer perceptions regarding this legally sanctioned leave, he added.
“I want to replace the term 'maternity break' with a more suitable moniker, reflecting the fact that this is a vital period of time allowing parents to bond with their newborn child,” said Melchior, who unfortunately is yet to come up with an alternative title.