Monday, January 19, 2009
The Guardian always give me juicy subject matter to illustrate and this article was no different.
Sarah Habershon, art director at the Guardian, contacted me last Tuesday to see if I could do this piece, entitled No Father Forward by Elin Darby about the issues surrounding paternity leave in the UK. Of course I could! I love an adrenalin pumping deadline me! - which was Thursday.
The article discussed how many companies seemed not to take the idea seriously of a father taking time off to help care for a new baby, or even help out with childcare if his partner were returning to work after her maternity leave. Some men were even made redundant on the point of returning to work after taking paternity leave - with plenty of other reasons being given for the redundancy other than "you seem to be unreliable and /or uncommitted because you take time off to care for your children", which of course is illegal to claim.
After some doodling about with themes of a "flexible parenting/working environment" theme, I suddenly remembered all the images of Lehmann Bros. employees who had been made redundant a few months ago, and them walking out the office with all their possessions in a lowly cardboard box. It seemed cleaner and simpler to me to make that statement visually, but replacing the box with a good old-fashioned pram.