The Folly of ‘Equal Opportunity Law’

Sir Alan Sugar warned last night that equal opportunity laws have made it harder for a woman to get a job.

Employers are not allowed to ask women about having children – so they would just not employ them, he said.

The self-made millionaire and star of BBC TV’s The Apprentice added: “Everything has gone too far. We have maternity laws where people are entitled to too much.

“If someone comes into an interview and you think to yourself ‘there is a possibility that this woman might have a child and therefore take time off’ it is a bit of a psychological negative thought.

“If they are applying for a position which is very important, then I should imagine that some employers might think ‘this is a bit risky’.

“They would like to ask the question ‘Are you planning to get married and to have any children?.”

Sir Alan claimed that the current-laws are “counter-productive for women”.

He said: “That’s the bottom line, you’re not allowed to ask so it’s easy – just don’t employ them.

“It will get harder to get a job as a woman.”

He added that if he were to interview a woman with children for a job at his company Amstrad in Brentwood, Essex, he would be unlikely to hire her.

Sir Alan said: “If I had a woman sitting there who said ‘I have two kids, nine months and two years old and I live in Clapham [South London]’ and we are in Brentwood, by law I am not allowed to say to her ‘hold on love, do you think you are going to be able to cope in this job, you have to get the kids sorted?’

“Would you prefer me to say ‘thank you goodbye’ and then chuck the CV in the bin? Wouldn’t you prefer me to say ‘hang on, if I did give you this job how would you cope?’.

“Then she would have a chance to explain if she has a solution.

“If I am employing you to do a job, I want to be sure you can be there, so I want to be able to ask about what provision you have for children.”

Makes perfect sense to me, and it another reason to reduce government meddling.

15 thoughts on “The Folly of ‘Equal Opportunity Law’

  1. First, a little history.

    When women first entered the job market in the late 1960’s, one of the big objections to it was that they would disrupt the business office by getting pregnant. They responded by saying that motherhood was obsolete in an overcrowded world and that the planet did not need any more babies. (Those were the days of “The Population Bomb” and “The Parent Trap”.) Obviously, women lied. The solution to this nonsense of women making babies on the company’s time is to return to the old system of “family wage”. Hire men only, pay the man enough money to support the wife and famuily-and then put all women back in the kitchen and bedroom where their breeding cow ass belongs. If they whimper and whine that they want careers too, lay down the line. That is for men only. Women will not be allowed to reorganize society so they can have it both ways.

    In other words, feminism should be destroyed. Every right which women never did anything to deserve should be taken from them. No right to vote, no right to hold public office, no right to sit at a desk in a business office. Suck, bend over and obey.

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  5. Well, you can ask a woman if she plans on having kids, but how often have we ran into the situation where they haven’t exactly been forthcoming with information?

    It is a risk for companies.

    This is for much the same reason why a company that say deals with highly valuable things may not want to hire someone with a criminal background. It is a risk assessment, plain and simple.

    You women here look FAR too much into things. It isn’t because it is sexist, it is because it’s the truth.

  6. Worked in an office full of chicks once myself. Never again. Way to much drama. They come in late, leave early and complain about their lives the rest of the time. Good luck getting them to do anything without copius amounts butt kissing. Even then you are oppressing them simply by asking very, very nicely to do their job.

    Those were all of the chicks under 50. The older chicks who did not suffer from Princess Entitlement Syndrome were gold. If I ever had to hire a female it would be one from the pre feminist era.

  7. I’m not assuming that. What I’m saying is, it’s a businesses prerogatives. As Sugar explains in the article, these laws prevent an interviewer even asking questions that would enable her to defend her position.

    It’s illegal to ask so it makes the risk assessment so much more critical. It’s safer to not give the job as opposed to ask those questions and possibly get sued.

    Like I said, yet another example of ever-increasing government interfering in society.

  8. But you’re assuming a woman of child-bearing age is not the best person for the job without actually considering their qualifications or whether they intend to procreate. Two candidates applying for the same job, the woman is twice as qualified and far more efficient, but you’re willing to say that no matter what the maternity issue means the male is always the better candidate? THAT is bad business practice in a free-market economy. Your male candidate could have prostate cancer and be far more of a long-term liability than your pregnant woman. Decisions, especially good business decisions, are multi-factorial.

  9. luvmycntry: I’ve seen your comment but it’s off topic and long, I don’t want it to disrupt this article.

    notfromaroundhere: People forget something. A private business is a private business. In a free market a business should be able to employ whomever they feel will serve the firm best. It isn’t cost effective to employ a woman who may soon take 9 months off, especially with maternity pay laws being what they are. That sort of thing also creates tension in a workplace because the other workers have to put more in to compensate for their absence.

    Women have a choice. They should have to deal with their choices, not have their personal choices protected by everyone else, whom it has absolutely fuck all to do with.

    LorMarie: In the UK they can get up to 6 months paid I believe. Like I said, private business shouldn’t be forced to employ certain types of people. They should be able to employ who they like.

    rationalpsychic: Your name is an oxymoron and your comment is completely useless. Say something constructive or nothing at all.

  10. So hiring women is risky business? Would it be better to hire a woman and have her bring hard earned money into the home or have her stay home and depend on her husband to support the family on a single paycheck? As a result, more stress on men as well as more complaints about women. I’m not sure about what it’s like in the UK, but women are not entitled to paid maternity leave in the US. Entitled to leave yes, but not paid leave so what’s the problem? My point is the ramifications of not hiring women would be much worse than hiring them. Most people aren’t rich so we all need to work in order to live above poverty. That can’t be done if people aren’t hired.

  11. It’s even worse when you are trying to look for a job and you are pregnant…they see your tummy and won’t want to hire that woman because she will need to take maternity leave within a few months’ time.

  12. Not every woman of child-bearing age wants or intends to ever have children. Do you mean to say that those of us child-free by choice should, what, have to declare that up front? Of course, the bottom line is that I definitely would not want to work with someone who was such a sexist as to think that this issue was more important than all others, so perhaps you are doing we females a favor by keeping yourselves cocooned in an exclusively testosterone-driven environment. When I’ve been the only woman in a sexist, crude place, it has not been easy to concentrate on work and get things done.

  13. EOM,

    This was posted on Mancoat (NiceGuy’s forum) earlier today; all I can say is Amen!! Alan Sugar is 100% right when he says that hiring women is risky business-no pun intended. Not only does a business owner like him have to worry about her getting pregnant and leaving; he has to worry about sexual harassment issues, and all that other stuff too. Sexual harassment law, particularly ‘hostile work environment’ harassment, is whatever the woman says it is; whatever offends her poor, widdle feelings is harassment.

    This sort of stuff also causes stress amongst colleagues. I used to work in corporate environment, and man, I did NOT realize the stress I was under until I worked with men only! My last two jobs have been men only. While women may have worked at both companies, they did NOT work in our department-thank freakin’ goodness!! I’m no longer walking on eggshells all fucking day! I can just do my job without any drama, and be done with it. Man, I never, ever, ever want to work with women again.


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