Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin has today raised the issue of Shared Parental Leave for the self-employed and freelancers with Prime Minister Theresa May.
Shared parental leave currently allows mothers to end their maternity leave early in order for her partner to take time off.
The policy gives greater flexibility to families, allowing them to use leave related to having or adopting a child in blocks as well as allowing mothers to continue their careers when they wish.
Shared Parental Leave isn’t currently available to freelancers or the self-employed, something Tracy Brabin MP and many others hope to see changed.
The expansion of the policy to freelancers and self-employed was one of the 5 main asks during the ‘March of the Mummies’ protests which happened in major cities across the UK on Tuesday (31/10/2017).
In the House of Commons, Tracy Brabin asked, “As the Prime Minister will be aware, self-employed people are not eligible for shared parental leave. This places the burden of childcare on the mum, and denies fathers financial support and bonding time with the child. Has the Prime Minister seen the demands of the March of the Mummies, and can she give us assurances that she is prioritising this very urgent issue?”
The Prime Minister responded with, “The hon. Lady raises an important issue and I am happy to look at the point that has been made, but I remind her that the reason we have shared parental leave for anybody is because when I was Minister for Women and Equalities I ensured it was introduced.”
Commenting afterwards, Tracy Brabin MP said, “Freelancers and the self-employed being excluded from shared parental leave is a real injustice. The policy is important to families, as it allows partners to take time off to bond with children and mothers to get back to their careers if they wish.
With more and more people becoming freelance of self-employed, it’s urgent Theresa May moves to give them great equality.”