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Coldplay, Laura Marling, Music Producers Guild, MU and more sign shared parental pay letter to Theresa May

Laura  Barnes
Coldplay, Laura Marling, Music Producers Guild, MU and more sign shared parental pay letter to Theresa May

A number of music industry organisations, musicians and producers have signed an open letter 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.

Those backing the campaign include members of Coldplay, Keane, singer-songwriter Laura Marlin, classical string quartet Bond, and composers Stephen Warbeck and David Arnold.

Parental Pay Equality, the campaign group behind the letter is the brainchild of award winning sound-engineer, Olga FitzRoy (pictured), and is supported by industry organisations the Music Producers Guild, UK Music, Musicians’ Union, Help Musicians UK,
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“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,” said FitzRoy.

“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.

“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.”

Those who have signed the letter from the music and MI industry join over 30 MPs from all four major political parties.

The letter was delivered to the Prime Minister, the Right Hon Theresa May MP, earlier this month.

“Self-employed mothers claiming Maternity Allowance have none of the legal protections afforded to employees when they go on maternity leave, so the flexibility to share childcare and stop and start their maternity pay in order to maintain their business becomes even more crucial,” reads the open letter.

“We believe that in 2017 gender-equality is a fundamental right, not an optional extra reserved for those in traditional employment.

“With the 4.8 million self-employed people in the UK (15% of the workforce) only expected to increase, the number of families affected is significant.”

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Main image credit: Jennie Muskett

Tags: music producers' guild , musicians , Parental Pay Equality , Shared Parental Pay Benefit , producers , Olga FitzRoy

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