01 May 2018
On 21 February, MP and proud Equity member Tracy Brabin put forward a 10 Minute Rule Bill calling for shared parental leave and pay to be available to all self-employed workers.
This would allow them to navigate childcare around their employment opportunities, ensuring mothers will not have to pass up paid work even when their partners are available to look after their children.
Members gathered together at a rally to show their support for this potentially life-changing bill. Equity Councillor Hywel Morgan who attended with his wife and two children, explained: “Both of us were self-employed when our children were born. We had to get by on Statutory Maternity Pay, what little savings we had and my income as an actor, which can be sporadic. My wife generally earns more than me but had she taken paid work during her maternity leave, she would have lost her maternity pay. Instead I had to work away from home for months on end.
"It's been a real struggle for her to care for two young children on her own during that time. If we'd had shared parental leave, we would have been able to spread the load better. That's why we were there - we want other parents to have better opportunities to make the choices they want to make in the early years, not those they have to make."
There will be a second reading debate of the bill on 11 May. Members are encouraged to get in contact with their MPs, and urge them to show their support.