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The proposal wouldn’t force anyone to participate; it would just give them the option to collect an existing government benefit now or later. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Proposals to have the federal government help new parents take paid leave from their employment have generally come with serious disadvantages.

If the government makes companies eat the cost, it might also make them less willing to promote or hire women of child-bearing age. If the government instead makes taxpayers as a whole pay for leave, then it penalizes families that have chosen to have one parent stay out of the paid labor force to take care of children. This seems especially unfair since those families have lower average incomes than two-earner families. 

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