24/10/18: UK Music has welcomed the latest efforts of a campaign backing the “Shared Parental Leave and Pay (Extension)” Bill, also known as the #SelfieLeave Bill, which will extend the right to shared parental leave to self-employed people.
The first reading of the Bill took place in February
Under the present rules, self-employed parents are ineligible for shared parental leave. But campaigners will be urging MPs to support the Second Reading of this vital piece of legislation which would be a lifeline to thousands of self-employed parents.
The new law would be a major step forward for gender-equality, particularly in the creative industries where many people are self-employed.
UK Music CEO Michael Dugher said: “At present, self-employed workers in the music industry and elsewhere are denied what is now seen as a basic workplace entitlement – the right to split their parental leave with their partner.
“That’s why UK Music is proud to support the SelfieLeave Bill, led by the fantastic campaigning MP Tracy Brabin.”
Shared Parental Leave was brought in by the coalition government in 2015, however self-employed parents were not included in the new legislation. Self-employed mothers can claim Maternity Allowance, paid at the same rate as SPL, but they cannot split this leave into periods of work and pay, or share it with a partner, and self-employed men get no paid parental leave whatsoever.
Supporters of the bill include Coldplay’s Chris Martin who said: “This bill would finally give self-employed artists and technicians an opportunity to share parenting in a way that makes sense for them and their families.”
Singer-songwriter Laura Marling said: “It's so fantastic that self-employed artists and their crews would finally have a chance to share parenting if this bill goes through.”
Parental Pay Equality’s founder Olga FitzRoy said: “We hope the Government will use this opportunity to take this simple step for self-employed families. Politicians of all sides have supported the bill this far - we now need the government to commit to it.”
Tracy Brabin, MP for Batley and Spen said: “With this bill I’ve handed the Government a perfect opportunity to show they’re really in touch with the modern world of work and that they’re on the side of families.
“There is still time for them to adopt this common sense, cost-neutral proposal which allows self-employed parents to take maternity and paternity leave in a way that suits their family.
“This provision is already available for families in more conventional employment. We’re simply calling on the Government rectify this situation where we have one set of rules for conventionally employed people and a separate set for everyone else.”