news category MPG Activity created 16 February 2018

Music & TV stars Turn Out To Back New Law To Boost Shared Parental Leave for the self-employed

Stars from the world of music and film will join forces with politicians to fight for a new law to boost shared parental leave for the self-employed.

They will gather outside Parliament to support Labour MP Tracy Brabin’s proposed legislation to extend shared parental leave to the self-employed in a move to help thousands who work in the entertainment industry and other sectors.

The former Coronation Street actress is taking the campaign – which has already attracted the support of a host of stars including Coldplay’s Chris Martin – to Parliament to pile the pressure on the Government.

There will be a photocall at 11am on Wednesday February 21 opposite the Houses of Parliament (full details below) as celebrities and politicians gather to support her Shared Parental Pay and Leave (Extension) Bill – also known as the #SelfieLeave Bill.

Under a 2015 change in the law, parents have the right to split their leave between them. But self-employed mothers must take statutory maternity allowance in one go and cannot go back on to it after doing some work. Self-employed fathers have no access to parental leave or pay.

Around 285,000 couples are eligible every year for shared parental leave, but take-up “could be as low as 2%”, according to the Department for Business.

The new law would be a major step forward for gender-equality, particularly in the creative industries where 44% are self-employed.

Celebrity supporters of the bill include Chris Martin. The Coldplay star said “So many of our crew, both in the studio and on the road, are freelance, and we don’t want to lose half of that talent when they become parents – we want them to be able to share their parenting in a way that works for them, and isn’t dictated by being a man or a woman.”

Parental Pay Equality’s founder, Olga FitzRoy said “This is a great opportunity for politicians of all parties to unite behind the bill, which will send a strong message that men and women are valued equally in the home and in the workplace.

“Self-employed mothers, who don’t get any employment protections while on leave, need the flexibility of sharing childcare with a partner to ensure they have a job to go back to, and dads have had enough of being sidelined when it comes to parenting.”

As well as public support from Keane, Coldplay and Laura Marling, other stars expected to attend include George Gently and Mum actress, and PIPA ambassador, Lisa McGrillis, Bond electric string quartet, singer-songwriters Ed Harcourt and Fyfe Dangerfield.

Please pledge your support to Tracy Brabin’s #SelfieLeave bill – click HERE.

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