Letter: Parents' fears

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The ability of women to juggle family and career has not hitherto meant the right to demand that the hours of an existing job be rescheduled. The award of pounds 50,000 to an airline employee ("Mother's victory on long hours", 3 August) changes all that. It is one more burden for employers, the cost of which will inevitably be borne by their childless employees.

The inequity of this may have occurred to men before, but a new breed of career woman is finding it irksome. The American author of a new book is calling for equivalent flexibility, benefits, tax breaks etc for childless women. The ruling can only fuel that sense of grievance. As with all bad law, widespread uptake will be its downfall.

Parenthood may be an activity in which no rational man will any longer engage, but it is increasingly regarded as a woman's right. The childless will go on picking up the tab until the Chancellor realises that men respond to carrots as well as the CSA's big stick.

ANDREW SCHOFIELD

Cambridge

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