My MU colleague Maddy Radcliff and I were involved in this morning’s photo call outside the Houses of Parliament in support of legislation that could help prevent entertainment workers from being forced out of the industry when they have children. Labour MP and former Coronation Street actor Tracy Brabin is submitting the Shared Parental Leave and Pay (Extension) Bill, which aims to enable self-employed parents to benefit equally from parental leave and pay.
This Bill could have significant benefits in the performing arts world and help to prevent performers interrupting their careers when having children due to the cost. Currently mothers who work freelance are entitled to maternity pay of £140.98 per week, while self-employed fathers are not currently afforded any parental leave or pay. The bill would allow both parents to split leave and pay in blocks between them and would be an extension to legislation in place for employed parents.
The Liberal Democrat deputy leader, Jo Swinson, also supports the bill, which would offer shared parental pay to over 40,000 people in flexible work.