'You're barking up the wrong tree!': Callers clash over John Lewis' equal parental leave

11 June 2021, 11:06

Two callers clash over new equal parental leave offered by John Lewis

By Tim Dodd

Two callers argue over John Lewis' announcement that it will give up to 26 weeks of 'equal' parental leave for all employees.

The conversation comes as John Lewis announces equal parental leave will come into force this autumn for staff who have served for a year or more. This gives partners 26 weeks of paid leave - 14 at full pay and 12 at half pay.

Nick Ferrari began by outlining the problem: "John Lewis, a company that the year before made £80 million, the year after that lost £517 million. Isn't that what they had to be addressing?"

Christine in Slough responded to Nick: "Well they are addressing it by using groundbreaking HR policy to keep the family together. I can't believe what you're saying, I swear you belong to the Victorian age? Of going to bloomin' workhouses."

Nick replied: "No, no, you're not listening."

Before he could continue Christine started to respond, at which point Nick attempted to clarify his position seven times - "The business is on its knees!"

Nick then brought in Mick in Chelmsford who disagreed with Christine that equal parental leave is necessary.

"Christine, I've got five children, all been to university, on these grounds I should have 2 and a half years off!"

Christine said: "Don't trivialise something that is very groundbreaking. For young people bringing up their families, it's good to share it and not the women holding the burden all the time."

Nick Ferrari brands plans by John Lewis as 'insanity'

Mick suggested that if a hypothetical "Tamsin and Tabatha" want to stay home and setup an internet business while John Lewis are keeping their jobs open for them, "that's up to John Lewis".

He continued: "This will become part of the norm. All of the barmy HR and barmy legal people will turn this into a huge event that everybody will need to be seen to want to do or have to do."

"He's barking up the wrong tree," Christine said. "I am talking about what they are doing for new parents, not paying the huge cost of child minding, and at the same time working for the company. The reason why this company has had to close [stores] is because they're not profitable!"

Nick concluded: "Well then giving staff effectively 20 weeks paid leave, you question the wisdom of it."

The move follows a difficult financial year for the retailer which announced the closure of 16 stores earlier this year following coronavirus struggles.

More Nick Ferrari

See more More Nick Ferrari

Dame Esther Rantzen has told LBC why she is campaigning to change the law on assisted dying

‘Dogs get treated better than humans’, Esther Rantzen says, as TV legend demands assisted dying law change

Rishi Sunak (l) puts on a brave face to the Tories by-election defeats on a visit to Harlow. New Kingswood MP Damien Egan (top r) and Wellingborough MP Gem Kitchen (bottom r)

Rishi Sunak begs frustrated Tories 'not to put Starmer in power' after party suffers double by-election disaster

New Labour MPs Damien Egan and Gen Kitchen

'They are not very good results': Tory chairman admits after double by-election drubbings as MPs call for tax cuts

The peer was speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast

'It was known yesterday' Azhar Ali had made more Israel conspiracy theory comments, peer tells LBC

Scammers should be treated like violent criminals, a senior anti-fraud officer has said.

Scammers should be treated like violent criminals, senior anti-fraud officer tells LBC

The vessel is due to lead the largest Nato exercise since the Cold War, involving more than 40 vessels, after its sister ship was forced to cancel its deployment because of an 'issue' with its propeller shaft.

HMS Prince of Wales docked while it should be 'defending our interests abroad', Minister brands it 'not acceptable'

Lord Rose took aim at government quangos in the wake of the Post Office scandal

'They grow like multi-headed hydras': Asda chairman takes aim at government quangos after Post Office scandal

Lord Stuart Rose speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari

Police 'not picking up the phone' to attend shoplifting 'endemic', Lord Stuart Rose tells LBC

Dentists who set up practice in areas of England with poor access to NHS care will be offered a £20,000 bonus

Health Secretary Victoria Atkins stumped on exact figure for new dentists as ministers plan £20,000 ‘golden hello’

When asked by Nick to sum up the Government in one word, Ms Keegan said: "Delivering."

Gillian Keegan rates the Government using Ofsted descriptions - and it's not 'Outstanding'

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan tells LBC she is ‘very, very confident’ of 15 hours of free childcare by April

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan tells LBC she is ‘very, very confident’ of 15 hours of free childcare by April

'Fairer' social housing reforms will ensure system used 'in the right way' by those who 'play by the rules', the Housing Minister told LBC

'Fairer' social housing reforms will ensure system used 'in the right way' by those who 'play by the rules'

Iceland CEO on his support for Labour after defecting from the Tories.

'The Tories have failed the nation': Iceland CEO and former Tory donor throws support behind Labour

The policing minister has said first-time offenders for knife crime will not be jailed.

No plans to jail first-time knife offenders despite desperate pleas of Nottingham attack victim's family

US voters can do better than Donald Trump and Joe Biden

'Two old men fighting over a Zimmer frame': US can do better than Trump or Biden as president, says Jon Sopel

Nick Ferrari says bosses need to 'get a grip' and start justifying their huge pay packets with services that actually work

Firms led by overpaid bosses need a ‘reality check’ - let's get people back to the office, says Nick Ferrari