The Campaign for Parental Pay Equality, a national campaign founded earlier this year by music recording engineer Olga FitzRoy, is launching a petition to make Shared Parental Pay available to the self-employed.
The petition (https://platform.organise.org.uk/campaigns/shared-parental-pay-petition) aims to gather public support for a change to the eligibility criteria for statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) so that it includes self-employed people. Once completed it will be presented to Justine Greening MP, Minister for Women and Equalities and Margot James MP, Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility.
Both the Music Producers Guild, of which FitzRoy is a member and an MPG Award winner, and UK Music are supporting this campaign as the current regulations are a barrier to women maintaining freelance careers in the music industries.
“43% of people in the creative industries are self-employed and right now they are only entitled to Maternity Allowance – and only if they are mothers,” FitzRoy explains. “The current system of Maternity Allowance for the self-employed places the entire burden of childcare onto the mother and offers no financial support for self-employed fathers or same-sex partners wanting to share childcare. We would like to see ShPP implemented for self-employed parents, as it would allow them more flexibility to successfully run their businesses without claiming any more money from the government than the mothers are currently entitled to.”
FitzRoy adds that the Government’s own Taylor Review on Employment recommends that the self-employed get Shared Parental Leave, yet the Government is dragging its heels.
“Our research shows that the rigid system of Maternity Allowance is detrimental to families and businesses, and in 2017 we cannot expect all the childcare in a family to be automatically done by women,” she says.
Parental Pay Equality will join international pressure group, Pregnant Then Screwed in a “March of the Mummies” (its Halloween, geddit?) on October 31st from Trafalgar Square to Westminster, where they will put five key demands to the Government:
1. Increase the time limit to raise a maternity discrimination tribunal claim from three months to (at least) six months
2. Require companies to report on how many flexible working requests are made and how many are granted.
3. Give fathers access to six weeks non-transferable paternity leave paid at 90% of salary.
4. Give the self-employed access to Statutory Shared Parental Pay
5. Subsidise childcare from six months old, rather than three years
The charities, Working Families and the Lullaby Trust are supporting the march, and famous faces from the worlds of music and film are expected to attend.
About Music Producers Guild (UK):
The Music Producers Guild (UK) is an independent and democratic organisation that encourages the highest standards of music production, and actively engages with other music industry organisations to campaign and lobby on matters of important mutual interest.
The MPG represents and promotes the interests of all those involved in the production of recorded music, including producers, engineers, mixers, re-mixers, programmers and mastering engineers.