Textile News

Surveys/Classified ads and more
20th June 2016
This week's survey 
(These survey questions are sent in by our readers. Please spend a minute to give your answer to this week's survey as one or possibly more of your industry peers thinks this question is important and wishes to see your point of view as well as others in the industry.)  

Last week's survey results...
Well we certainly copped a lot of flack with this survey - see results below. Apologies to all those that were upset or offended. Surprisingly only a handful of people opted to allow us to put their names against their comment.

Is it wise for an employer in a small business to put female employees in important positions when there is the possibility of them falling pregnant and taking long maternity leave? 
  • This question would be classed as backward, discriminatory and potentially illegal in most socially advanced countries. Although I understand the dilemma and disruption that any leave would cause, would a recruiter ask the same question about someone who is overweight and 26% more likely to suffer from heart disease and not be able to cope with the stress or take long term leave following a heart attack? Many women, some of which very accomplished, have successfully married their careers with family life. The suitability of any candidate for a job role at whatever level should be based on merit, motivation and experience, whether the business is a large or small concern. 
  • There are 2 sides to this, firstly any position should go to the best person irrespective of gender however on the other side is the question of a lady falling pregnant whilst occupying a vital position in a small business. Bearing in mind that most pregnancies these days happen by choice and not by accident. This happened to us some years ago and the lady in question had the best interests of the company in mind and informed us in the early stages and offered to resign at about 8 months of her pregnancy which gave us several months to find a suitable replacement and our preganat lady was able to do some training of her replacement. The damage was significant to the company in that year but at least we were spared the secondary cost of maternity leave, etc., She came back to us about two years later and helps out on a part time basis, she is still with us on that basis.  Great lady, we love her to bits.
  • This question itself is appalling, and any employer responding negatively, leaves themselves wide open to discrimination action by any employee or even applicants that don't get an opportunity to be considered for a position. Same goes for age, race etc. Think about how you would like your partner, wife, daughter to be treated and if you are not aware of discrimination in the workplace, here's a link http://www.humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au/index.php/workplace-discrimination
    Chris - JDA Print Recruitment)
  • It is was it is. Women get pregneant, people get injured, staff leave. There are no guarantees in life or business. You can only put the most skilled and competant person in the right positions and hope for the best. (Wal, Queensland Signage Solutions) 
  • To see this style of question put out today is really disappointing. We have been in business 13 years and although we only employ between 5 - 6 people. To say you wouldn't put the best person in a position because they may fall pregnant is really a short sighted view. Do you promote a person because they are stable or really solid in front of a person who could grow your business. Also how do you know that the person you promote is long term anyway, we've found that turnover of staff comes from people moving to different suburbs or a multiple of different reasons.
    Never in our time in business have we ever let race, religion or the possibility of falling pregnant stand in the road of employing or promoting someone.
  • What an embarrassing, outdated and legally inept question this is. Discrimination is wrong. Let's just repeat that for anyone still not getting it. Discrimination is wrong. I'm middle-aged, male, a small business owner and have some great, intelligent young women employed. Would anyone ever ask "Is it wise for an employer in a small business to put male employees in important positions when there is a possibility of them suffering an injury playing footy and taking long leave?". The saddest thing is it's impossible for ANY industry to look to the future if such an outdated view actually exists. Let's hope it doesn't - for the sake of us all! (Graham, Fast Forward Digital) 
  • Running a small business, and having a female in the lead role, falling pregnant was NEVER a consideration, as we simply put the BEST PERSON in the role, there can be any number of reasons that an employee may leave, being pregnant is such a poor reason to not have a female in the lead role. After all in Small business having the right person in the right role is the secret to success. If she was to fall pregnant, take long service leave, or injury herself and require long recuperation, isn't the most important thing that you have a team trained to fill any role?
  • If you find the right people to fulfil the role gender should not be an issue. Men could also leave an important role to look after those kids. What's the difference?
    I am male and I find this question a little on the sexist side considering we are in 2016.
  • Couldn't believe my eyes when I read this question. An employer in a small business should know the laws surrounding discrimination. Anyone with a half a brain knows the answer to this stupid question. If the person is capable the job is theirs. I pity the next woman who takes a job with this company.
  • You have got to be kidding... (Scott, Shotz)
  • Not all females want to fall pregnant and males can just as easily want to leave a position. Denying someone a position based on gender is not on. Positions should be given based on skill and personality alone.
  • This is actually a very good question and all employers whether they admit to it or not or whether it is gender discriminatory, they WILL and should take into consideration as to whether a female employee has finished her child bearing years or still has them ahead of her. Especially if she will be in an important position or position of authority. Otherwise this can be a extremely expensive, and timely dilemma / issue for all employers. (Steve, Steve Baker Signs)
  • What small minded narrow thinking. God forbid that the human race continue. As a female, small business owner, I find this comment very discriminatory. Yes, women get pregnant, yes, they take time off, sometimes 6 weeks, sometimes 12 months. Aren't all positions in a small business 'important'? Don't employ men either, as they could possibly get sick, or have an accident and have to have time off too. Seriously, stop being such a misogynist. Respect women for what they bring to the workplace. As for the host of this survey, discriminatory comments such as this are not appreciated.
  • NO, having had this happen twice in the last few years it almost killed the business, no one wants to fill the gap without knowing there is some hope of ongoing work.
    while you cant say you wont employ a younger lady because of it one must be a realist and make decisions on that are the best for your business long term, we are very very reluctant to employ any young ladies now as a result however over 40 with families are great and stable employees.
  • No; It is not feasible!
    Small business cannot afford to pay maternity leave. And then have to pay to train another person to take over the role.  There are enough fees payable to the government now. In my industry we do not employ females.
  • It is a risk you take. Personally I find it a better option to employ more 'mature'women with established families to fill a key position a they usually have experience on their side. The maternity rules can be make or break for a females job prospects. In my day, if we couldn't afford kids, we didn't have them. I'm not sure why an employer should have to subsidies their income because they decide to have a family.
  • I am amazed (and not in a good way) that this question has been published!
  • Crazy question. Employees are usually your biggest headache but also your biggest asset - there are risks with all employees and I would suggest whoever suggested this survey has had a problem with a pregnant employee leaving them in the lurch in the past.
  • OMG I can't believe this question is even being asked today! Is this seriously where the signage industry is at?
(As a publishing practice to protect ourselves from any potential liability, company and individual names that are referred to negatively in any of these comments are removed.
In addition we reserve the right to remove comments that are blatant advertising for one product or company)

You can view most the surveys we have done by clicking here.

Please spend a minute to give your answer to this week's survey as one or possibly more of your industry peers thinks this question is important and wishes to see your point of view as well as others in the industry.

If you have a subject that you would like us to survey, please send your subject to brian@wideformatonline.com. Thanks.) 


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(NSW, Marrickville) Roland gx500 plotter.
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