Know your rights at work — and beyond — when it comes to pregnancy, maternity, parenthood and caring responsibilities.
You may be entitled to financial support if you have a child, or care for a disabled child or adult.
Find in-depth information on which benefits and tax credits you could be entitled to on Equity's Maternity, Parental, and Childcare Rights page
Additionally, check out the following government resources:
If you have or share responsibility as carer for an adult dependent, there is financial and practical support available to you.
Carer’s Credit - Carer’s Credit is a National Insurance credit that helps with gaps in your National Insurance record. You could get Carer’s Credit if you’re caring for someone at least 20 hours a week.
If you feel you have been discriminated against at work because of your status as a carer, contact us.
For more information on childcare resources, benefits and rights if you are a parent or carer, here is a comprehensive explanation of your Maternity, Parental, and Childcare Rights.
Maternity Action - If you need to change the hours you work because of childcare, you can make a request for flexible work. Your employer has a duty to consider your request in a reasonable manner and your employer must not discriminate against you. This information sheet explains how to ask for child-friendly working hours and what you can do if your employer refuses your request.
Working Mums - What are your rights if your employer changes your schedule? What about redundancy? Working Mums offers additional information on your employment rights.
Whether or not your pregnancy affects your performance work depends on the role you have and the type of production you are on. It may be possible to continue to perform or to do alternative work for the production company. Before you disclose your pregnancy to your employer/engager, contact your sector official for advice on your situation. You can do this via our Contact Us page or helpline 020 7379 6000.
If you need to change the hours you work because of childcare, or if you want to apply for a job on a job-share basis, you can make a request for flexible work. Your employer has a duty to consider your request in a reasonable manner and your employer must not discriminate against you.
Maternity Action has good advice on child-friendly working hours here.
For assistance approaching your current (or potential) employer regarding flexible work, contact us.
Information on your rights to maternity and parental leave
Find information on maternity leave, maternity payment and when/if to disclose — including in the case of adoption — here.
British Association of Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM) provide specialist health and mental health support for people in the industry. As an Equity member, you can access our mental health support scheme, led by a BAPAM psychotherapist experienced in working with creative practitioners. The Scheme combines some limited one to one counselling for members who have developed a significant mental health problem as a direct result of their work, with broader access to a weekly psychological support group. See the Mental Health Support page for more information.
An estimated one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage, and a smaller but significant number of people experience ectopic or molar pregnancies. This can have a serious impact on both physical and mental health.
If you have experienced a miscarriage and require advice and guidance on your employment rights, or want help speaking to your employer, contact the Equity staff member for your sector via the form on our Contact Us or please call 020 7379 6000. All calls are confidential.
The Miscarriage Association offers further information and support for those affected by miscarriage, molar pregnancy or ectopic pregnancy.
PiPA (Parents in the Performing Arts) - PiPA’s vision is of a performing arts sector that is effectively inclusive of the parent and carer workforce. Read about the campaign and access resources.
Info on how your domestic situation and dependents impact your tax status on this websites Social security, tax and financial support pages.
If you’re an Equity member, call our Social Security and Tax Helpline for advice and support. We provide advice on tax, national insurance, all welfare benefits and related areas. Open: Mondays and Thursdays, 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm on 020 7670 0223
ACTORS CHILDREN’S TRUST - Charity for those in the industry with children
AGE UK - AgeUK is a charity dedicated to helping everyone make the most of later life.
BLISS - Charity supporting parents of babies born prematurely or sick.
CITIZENS ADVICE - When you are a new parent, are expecting a baby, or having caring responsibilities, you have extra rights at work. Citizens Advice has a lot of good information here. […]
DENVILLE HALL - Residential home for members of the theatrical profession
MOTHERS WHO MAKE - Initiative to support mothers who are artists
PIPA - Parents in Performing Arts work to make our industry effectively inclusive of parents and carers
RAISING FILMS - Organisation working for best practice for parents and carers in TV and Film
SELFIE LEAVE CAMPAIGN - Parliamentary campaign for shared parental leave for self-employed
Citizens Advice - Your Rights - When you’re a new parent or you’re expecting a baby you have extra rights at work, see here for more details
WORKING MUMS - Help for mums negotiating the workplace
The following charities support those who have experienced pregnancy loss, baby loss and bereavement:
Baby Loss Awareness Alliance - Database of useful organisations in the event of miscarriage or baby loss
Information on your rights to time off and pay when dealing with miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death
Miscarriage Association - Information and resources for those affected by miscarriage, molar pregnancy or ectopic pregnancy
Sands - Sands is the leading stillbirth and neonatal death charity in the UK. Sands exists to ensure that anyone affected by the death of a baby receives the best possible care and support for as long as they need it.
Tommy’s - Tommy’s researches into miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth, and provides pregnancy health information to parents.