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11 November 2017

Open Letter to Prime Minister calls for Shared Parental Pay Benefit for the Self-Employed

WFTV CEO Kate Kinninmont, MBE is a signatory of an open letter the the Prime Minister calling to extend the new Shared Parental Pay Benefit to the self-employed. The letter describes Maternity Allowance as placing the entire burden of childcare on the mother and points out that self-employed fathers and adopters get nothing. Other signatories include Coldplay and Keane, singer-songwriter Laura Marling, classical string-quartet Bond, film director Tim Burton and composers Stephen Warbeck (Captain Corelli’s Mandolin) and David Arnold (James Bond, Sherlock), and over 30 MPs from all 4 major political parties.

On 31 October, cities across the UK saw five maternity and paternity–related demands, including shared parental pay for the self-employed, made in a ghoulish fashion, as protesters in Halloween fancy-dress marched on parliament for March Of The Mummies. The following day Tracy Brabin MP referenced the march in her PMQ on shared parental pay for the self-employed, and the Prime minister promised to look into it.

Parental Pay Equality, the campaign group behind the letter is the brainchild of award-winning sound-engineer, Olga FitzRoy, and is supported by industry organisations the Music Producers Guild and UK Music.

“The current regulations are based on the 1950s model of the family where the mother does all the caring. In the creative industries 44% are self-employed and most of us love our jobs – we don’t want to choose between family and career, and with shared parental pay we wouldn’t have to. It would be paid at exactly the same rate as maternity allowance for the same no of weeks, but parents could share the leave flexibly and women’s careers would suffer less, while new dads and adopters, who currently get nothing, could bond with their kids. Everyone’s a winner and we envisage the cost to be minimal”

“Equal Pay Day is the day in the year that women stop earning relative to men, and we are launching today to highlight the unfairness in the system. Our research shows 54% women’s businesses suffered as a result of not being able to share leave – surely the time has come for change.” says FitzRoy.

Leaders of entertainment unions BECTU, The MU, and Equity have also signed the letter, as well as the Federation of Small Businesses and a number of charities and not for profit organisations.

Find out more about the campaign here.