It's pathetic when an employer offering "enviable" maternal leave policies merely affords women up to (but not exceeding!) three months of unpaid time off. And "paternity leave"? There's practically a red squiggle under those two words. Doesn't exist yet in the U.S.
"Project work", fairly common in science, is particularly bad for baby-having. When employees carry important pieces of projects in their minds, and then announce that they'll be leaving relatively quickly for a pretty long time ("eh, maybe forever, dunno yet"), it's just a shitty situation. That said, I don't know why we're so afraid of part-time work and working from home. If I am meeting deadlines and keeping my coworkers' needs met, why should you care that I'm remote desktop'ing into my work computer instead of spending 8 to 5 in an office, like it's an attendance grade? Have issues with how I report my hours? Ask me what I'm up to.
Draconian work policies cheat employers out of an important resource: happy workers. The flipside: don't be a lazy asshole sitting on paid leave for huge chunks of time.