The Business Secretary, Greg Clark today announced a consultation on a number of family-friendly policies, including Shared Parental Leave. This follows years of campaigning from Parental Pay Equality and others, and includes open-ended sections for respondents to have their say on SPL. A government policy consultation is a very significant step, and opens the door to legislative change in these areas going forward. The consultation on Parental Leave closes on November 29th and can be found here.
25.06.2019: UK Music chief Michael Dugher and Parental Pay Equality founder Olga FitzRoy have called on the Government to include self-employed workers in the music industry in paid parental leave reforms.
They have written a joint letter (attached) to Business Secretary Greg Clark to urge him to do more to help workers in the creative industries who contribute £100 billion to the UK economy.
The move follows reports that the Government is considering extending paid paternity leave to 12 weeks.
In their letter to Mr Clark, Michael and Music Producers Guild Executive Director Olga said:
“The vast majority of creators in the music industry are self-employed. At present, current regulations place the burden of childcare on the mother, damaging her career prospects while preventing fathers from spending time with their new families.
“With women still under-represented in all sectors of the music industry, the ability to share parental leave could be a game-changer in retaining freelance female talent.
“These urgently needed changes are long overdue. If the Government is serious about supporting businesses and the creative industries which contribute £100 billion to the UK economy, it must introduce reforms that reflect the modern working world.”Letter_to_Greg_Clark
The Shared Parental Leave and Pay Extension Bill, aka Tracy Brabin MP’s #SelfieLeave Bill was mentioned in 3 separate parliamentary debates in Westminster within a fortnight.
On May 1st Kevin Brennan MP asked the Minister in charge of Shared Parental Leave, Andrew Griffiths MP, about extending shared parental leave to the self-employed.
On April 18th Tracy Brabin asked ministers to look into it as a means of closing the gender pay gap during Harriet Harman’s UQ on the gender pay gap.
And on April 17th Kevin Brennan MP urged Culture Minister, Michael Ellis MP to look into it more closely during a Westminster Hall debate on the creative industries
Our survey results are in, and reveal that self-employed returners are disadvantaged when they go back to work after having children, despite most saying they would like to work more. Only 20% of self-employed women are back to their pre-baby earnings by the time their child is 2, compared with 26% amongst employees. (ONS Labourforce Survey)
Data: ONS Labourforce Survey
Data: Parental Pay Equality / Organise
This is despite a huge 62% wanting to work more, compared with only 10% of employed mothers in part-time work wanting to work more. (ONS Labourforce Survey)
Data: Parental Pay Equality / Organise
51% (both men and women) said that being eligible for shared parental leave would make the biggest difference to their family, yet 3 years to the day after this legislation was first introduced for employees, the self-employed remain ineligible. Many respondents also mentioned the lack of flexible affordable childcare as having a negative effect on their business, as the unpredictable nature and jobs at short notice made it difficult to use conventional nurseries and childminders that need to be paid upfront. 59% were not satisfied with how they were able to divide childcare and work as a couple.
This is why the government needs to listen to the thousands of self-employed families being held back by the inflexible systems of Maternity Allowance and limited KIT days, and embrace Shared Parental Leave and Pay for all.
Labour MP Tracy Brabin, who has introduced a bill to Parliament aimed at extending shared parental leave and pay to the self-employed said, “The time for introducing shared parental leave for freelancers is long overdue. It’s clear from this important research that many freelance mums want to work more and that the amount of work they can take can be affected by childcare commitments. The good news for the Government is that I’ve already introduced a bill to make shared parental leave available for freelancers and all they have to do is support it.”
Methodology: 143 People took part in an online survey run by the Organise Platform and Parental Pay Equality. The ONS stats are from the ONS Laborforce Survey .
On Wednesday 21st Feb, MPs, celebrities and membership organisations gathered outside parliament to support Tracy Brabin MP’s 10-minute rule bill to extend shared parental leave and pay to the self-employed. The event was attended by musicians Alt-J, The Big Moon, Fyfe Dangerfield, Kirsty Mangan and Ed Harcourt, Actor and PIPA Ambassador Lisa McGrillis, as well as representatives from UK Music, the MU, Equity, IPSE, PIPA, Women in Film and TV and Raising Films, and a number of cross-party MPs.
The shadow early years minister, Tracy Brabin, today announced a 10-minute Rule Bill motion to extend Shared Parental Leave and Pay to the self-employed. The bill, which has its first reading on February 21st, has cross-party support, with Conservative MP Ed Vaizey, Liberal Democrat deputy Leader Jo Swinson, as well a Caroline Lucas the SNP’s Alison Thewliss all co-sponsoring. In an interview with Buzzfeed Brabin said “It seems to me that the only way we’re going to close the gender pay gap is to get men more involved in childcare.”
This welcome announcement follows months of campaigning by Parental Pay Equality and supporters, and we will be gathering high-profile campaign-supporters and stakeholers outside parliament to support this bill. You can follow developments on social media using #SelfieLeave. Read the full article here
On the day in the year that women stop earning relative to men, Parental Pay Equality have published an open letter to the Prime Minister calling to extend the new Shared Parental Pay Benefit to the self-employed. Continue reading “Artists and Politicians Sign Open Letter to Theresa May”
Tracey Brabin, Labour MP for Batley & Spen and Shadow Minister for Early Years, at PMQs today asked Theresa May about extending Shared Parental Leave to the self-employed.