A new ten-year NHS strategy warns that nearly 200,000 extra staff are needed because Millennial workers demand career breaks and part-time roles. Health Education England’s chief executive Professor Ian Cumming said those born in the 80s and early 90s do not want to sacrifice their personal life for career success, and the increase in women entering traditionally male-dominated health professions means the NHS needs far more staff to cover the numbers working part-time.
Increasingly, male doctors are retiring and being replaced by young, female, part-timers who quite understandably prioritise family life, although they contribute to the bills for maternity leave and flexible working from their taxes.
The drive to get all women, especially mothers, into the workforce was portrayed as an economy measure (women being cheaper to employ); as a bonus, it could help curb the birth rate. Now we must find even more workers from a smaller pool of young people, and pay extra for flexible working and subsidised child care. And yet the drive for workplace ‘equality’ continues.
Professor Cumming, like Professor Higgins, seems to wonder why a woman can’t be more like a man, but women have the unfortunate tendency to produce children, and in fact employers have seen their maternal loyalties as a bankable commodity. Now they are being made to feel guilty about not devoting those loyalties entirely to work; doubtless the benefits will be eroded, but men will also be worse off, squeezed out of many jobs by female competition. But it will be a triumph for equality, because all will be equally badly off.