By the way, this isn’t my research.
Honestly, I received an email last week that told me I was breaking the law, thank goodness the police are not involved. By looking after my two young children I am in breach of EU time directives. It’s hilarious, and thought provoking. The press release went on to break things down properly:
⎯ Caring full time for a baby puts you in breach of Articles 3, 5 and 6 (b) of 2003 directive
⎯ Mums exceed maximum working hours, are not given adequate rest periods and do not receive paid annual leave from their baby employers
Naturally, I forwarded the press release straight onto my husband.
Rather brilliantly, he agreed.
‘The number of hours each week that British mothers spend looking after their children would be in breach of the European Union’s Working Time Directive if this work were to be treated in the same way as paid employment, research by leading greeting card and gift retailer Clintons has revealed.’
‘The Working Time Directive states that employees should work no longer than 48 hours per week. Workers are also entitled to a rest period of eleven consecutive hours in every 24-hour day, a rest break every six hours of work; an uninterrupted rest period of 24 hours in every seven day week, and paid annual leave of at least four weeks every year. Employees who work night shifts have extra protection and cannot be asked to work more than eight hours in a 24-hour period.’
This is just a bit of food for thought really. Of course us mothers, and fathers, who do the lion’s share of the childcare do it out of pure love. Most of us wouldn’t change it. The laughter, those classic toddler comments [Pearl: ‘Mummy I love your face, where did you buy it from?’], infinite naked, squidgy cuddles, they beat super salaries. But I would like more sleep. More time off. More employment rights.
Pass this on and get your efforts recognised; parents who stay at home are also working, we just answer to people who require swaddling, burping, calming down and plenty of snacks.