Maternity and caring rights and resources 

Go back to Equity4Women

Maternity and Care

Know your rights at work and beyond when it comes to pregnancy, maternity, parenthood and caring responsibilities.

Speak to Equity if you have a problem at work

If you experience problems at work related to pregnancy, miscarriage or being a parent or carer, call us on 020 7379 6000. You can also contact the Equity official for your sector directly - find their details on our contact page

Accessible word version coming soon.

Caring and childcare benefits

You may be entitled to financial support if you have a child or care for a disabled child or adult. Find out which benefits and tax credit you could be entitled to on our caring and childcare benefits page. 

If you have a question about your entitlement, contact Equity’s Tax and Welfare service. You can also find out how your caring responsibilities impact your benefit status on the gov.uk website

Disclosure of pregnancy

Whether or not your pregnancy may or may not affect 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 find their details on the Equity contact page or call the Equity Head Office on 020 7379 6000.

Family friendly digs

Many theatres and venues provide visiting company members with an in-house digs list. Resident company managers can often provide further assistance should finding digs be challenging. You can find digs on the websites below. Note that Equity does not endorse any of the sites listed here, nor any of the accommodation identified.

We know that the current touring accommodation and digs system is fundamentally flawed and the union and our members are working on an action plan to build a better system. We have recently consulted all Equity members on their opinions, experiences and ideas and will share more updates soon.

Flexible working and job sharing

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. 
Find information on child-friendly working hours on the Maternity Action website.

Maternity and parental leave

Page 4 of the Equity guide covers your right to maternity and parental leave.
Download the Equity Maternity, Parental and Childcare Rights Guide

Mental health and post-natal depression

British Association of Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM) provide specialist health and mental health support for people in the entertainment industry. As an Equity member, you can have six free counselling services through BAPAM. If you’re experiencing mental health issues, speaking to someone can really help. 
Get in touch with BAPAM to access free counselling

Miscarriage

Understand your rights at work in the event of pregnancy loss, baby loss and bereavement. 

Tax - Marriage Allowance

If you are married, the Marriage Allowance lets you transfer a portion of your Personal Allowance to your husband, wife or civil partner.
Find out about the marriage allowance on the gov.uk website

Further resources

Actors Children's Trust

Charity for parents and carers in the industry with children.

BLISS

Charity supporting parents and babies born prematurely or sick. 

Citizens Advice - Parental rights at work 

When youre a new parent or youre expecting a baby you have extra rights at work.

Miscarriage

Baby Loss Awareness

Support for anyone touched by pregnancy and baby loss. 

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.

Maternity Action

Information on your rights to time off and pay when dealing with miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death.

Mothers who make

Initiative to support mothers who are artists.

PiPA

Parents in Performing Arts work to make our industry inclusive of parents and carers.

Pregnant Then Screwed

Pregnant Then Screwed tackle maternity discrimination. They support pregnant women and mothers in accessing legal advice on their rights as well as supporting them to challenge cases of discrimination.

Raising Films

Organisation working for best practice for parents and carers in TV and Film.

Relaxed perfomances

A relaxed performance is a specially adapted show, modified for adults and children who might benefit from a more relaxed environment.

Working Mums website

What are your rights if your employer changes your shift pattern? What about redundancy? 

Equity guides and documents

We’re calling on everyone in the industry to work together to create a culture shift. The documents below outline the campaigns and resources created by Equity to support you.