Re: no stigma to having a family
I'm in the UK, and in many ways the problems or additional costs that arise from Paternity and Maternity are a problem that grows by the day, I have a customer who currently employs in excess of 20000 programmer's worldwide, he is based in the UK and he told me that only the way he can stay ahead of the game is to employ programmers in Asia.
He said that it's not so much the programming labour cost that makes the difference because work is carried out based on quotes but the extra's such as paternity and maternity on top of PAYE and NI, lump that lot to together and 30% + needs to be added to a quote, he said that in most cases will mean that his company will not be given the work.
His solution is worrying, he employs less than 10% of his workforce in the UK and the rest in countries that either pay much less or no maternity or paternity, I'm really not sure how you reverse this trend because programming is very much price driven but if countries like the UK and USA don't do something the fastest growing industry in the world today will be all done 'all bar' the shouting elsewhere.
So return to your original point, is paternity risky? I would say absolutely yes, perhaps not directly because the law says they can't, but it is very likely to lead to redundancy or at best new jobs will be created locally because your job can be done cheaper abroad.
This problem does not just effect our industry, manufacturing in many industries has slowly moved abroad over the last 40 years, I believe that because most programming work can be moved as quick as an email can be sent, is potentially the biggest problem that UK and USA face today.