15/04/2019: UK Music has thrown its support behind a new Parliamentary move to reform shared parental leave.
UK Music CEO Michael Dugher welcomed Liberal Democrat deputy leader Jo Swinson’s Bill that would compel the Government to make shared parental leave a “day one” right for workers.
Jo Swinson’s Employment Rights (Shared Parental Leave and Flexible Working) Bill would also entitle employees to request flexible working as well as shared parental leave.
The senior Lib Dem MP and former Employment Minister, who introduced shared parental leave four years ago, said it was good for children and good for families.
Her proposals came amid warnings that the music industry risks losing talent and diversity if it fails to improve the employment conditions of parents and careers.
A survey of more than 2,500 workers – including more than 1,000 from the music industry - conducted by Parents and Carers in Performing Arts (PiPA) found that parents and carers were far more likely to leave the music industry than those without caring responsibilities.
Jo Swinson’s plan follows Labour MP Tracy Brabin’s “SelfieLeave” Bill which was introduced last year to extend shared parental leave to self-employed people.
The measures outlined in the MPs’ two Parliamentary Bills would be a major step forward, particularly in the creative industries where many people are self-employed and work widely varying hours.
One area of concern highlighted by UK Music’s 2018 diversity survey of the music industry workforce was the finding of a lower representation of females aged 35 and above.
Among those in the industry who are backing the campaign is Coldplay’s Chris Martin.
UK Music CEO Michael Dugher said:
“Changes to help working parents such are long overdue.
“UK Music has long supported proposals to help parents and carers working in the music industry.
“These latest proposals from Jo Swinson would give employees the right to shared parental leave from their first day at work.
“The Government should get behind her plan which would be a lifeline to thousands of busy parents struggling to juggle work with family life.
“We have long supported the ‘SelfieLeave’ Bill to extend shared parental leave to self-employed parents. It’s a great idea spearheaded by the brilliant campaigning MP Tracy Brabin and award-winning sound engineer Olga Fitzroy who founded Parental Pay Equality.
“It’s now high time the Government listened and helped us continue to grow the UK music industry that already contributes £4.5 billion a year to the economy.”
Music Producers Guild Executive Director and Parental Pay Equality Founder Olga FitzRoy said:
"We are delighted that there are now two bills in Parliament looking to address the inequalities in the parental leave system, that continue to cause untold stress and hardship for so many self-employed families.
“94 per cent of the Music Producers Guild membership are self-employed, and the underrepresentation of women in music production and other freelance industries will only be addressed if the Government gives both parents the opportunity to balance caregiving around their careers.
“We are losing too much talent because of women continue to be penalised by an antiquated system that forces them into being the main caregiver.
“If the Government is serious about supporting businesses and the creative industries it must back this bill.”