Consultation on Shared Parental Leave announced

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.

Parental Pay Equality & UK Music Joint Letter to Business Secretary

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.”


Pregnant Then Elected

On Thursday 25 October, we are partnering with Pregnant Then Screwed on our first Pregnant Then Elected event to encourage more mums to kick start a career in politics.
Following Jo Swinson MP being subjected to maternity discrimination by our own government, we want to encourage and support more mums to have a political career. Only 32% of MPs are women and 45% of women MPs have no children, compared to 28% of male MPs and compared to 20% of the overall population. The most senior women in politics, like Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon, do not have children.
We will discuss the specific challenges mothers encounter, why it is important we have more mums in Westminster, how to make your voice heard, how to overcome the various barriers, and we will demystify the process. The event will be non-partisan. We will also talk through the lifecycle of a successful campaign, using Parental Pay Equality as an example.
Tickets for Pregnant Then Elected are free, but if you can afford it there is a suggested donation of £15 to Pregnant then Screwed.
Time: 6pm – 9.30pm
Venue: Landsec offices, 80 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 5JS
Accessibility: Venue is fully accessible – for any accessibility queries please email
Children: Children and babies are very welcome to the event, though there aren’t any childcare facilities.
Drinks (alcoholic and non alcoholic) will be available as well as some crisps and nuts.
Speakers will include:
Kemi Badenoch MP (Conservative)
Tracy Brabin MP, Shadow Minister for Early Years, (Labour)
Joeli Brearley, Founder of Pregnant Then Screwed
Baroness Sal Brinton, President of the Liberal Democrats
Rezina Chowdhury, Lambeth Councillor (Labour)
Olga Fitzroy, Founder of Parental Pay Equality
Aceil Haddad, Pregnant Then Screwed
Caroline Nokes MP, Immigration Minister (Conservative)
Frances Scott, Founder of 50:50 Parliament
Tulip Siddiq MP, (Labour)
Sophie Walker, Leader of the Women’s Equality Party
Amelia Womak, Deputy Leader of the Green Party
Spoken word artist, Amber Rose, will be reading some of her hard-hitting poetry. Amber is a Brighton-based single mum who is passionate about mental health, motherhood and healing from abusive relationships.

SelfieLeave all over Parliament in April and May

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


Self-Employed Left Behind on Return to Work

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 .

#SelfieLeave event outside parliament

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.

Shared Parental Leave and Pay (Extension) Bill announced

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