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Equity demands Shared Parental Pay

9 November 2017

Equity celebrates Equal Pay Day by demanding the self-employed be entitled to Shared Parental Pay Benefit.

General Secretary Christine Payne has joined artists and MPs and added her signature to an open letter asking the Prime Minister to extend this benefit to non-PAYE individuals.

This follows last week’s March of the Mummies, which saw protesters in fancy dress march on Parliament to bring attention to this issue. Citing the protest, MP Tracy Brabin delivered a speech during Prime Minister’s Questions that prompted Theresa May to promise to look into the subject.

Currently, although all women have access to state financial support while on maternity leave, only PAYE mothers have the option of transferring their remaining maternity pay to their employed partner through Shared Parental Pay Benefit.

The open letter explains this places “the entire burden of childcare onto the mother, and offers no paternity or shared parental benefit for self-employed fathers or same-sex partners wanting to share childcare.”

It also explains that self-employed women claiming Maternity Allowance have “none of the legal protections afforded to employees when they go on maternity leave”, and accordingly how “the flexibility to share childcare and to start and stop their maternity pay in order to maintain their business.”

The full letter can be found here.

Equal Pay Day calls attention to the gender pay gap, and the union supports the campaign’s aim to raising awareness of this economic injustice. Equity Equalities and Diversities Organiser Ian Manborde said: “Equity places a critical priority on fair and equal pay for all members, and not least those with parental responsibilities, the majority of whom are women. Equity is therefore supportive of the Parental Pay Equality campaign and encourages also an awareness of Friday 10th November as Equal Pay Day.”

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