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Campaign for freelancers’ shared parental pay rights gains momentum from Labour MP

Labour MP Tracey Barbin proposed a change this week to the current law that only applies to PAYE workers - affecting freelance producers and roadies

MPG award-winning producer Olga Fitzroy’s campaign to get shared parental pay rights for self-employed workers was brought to Parliament this week, backed by the Music Producer’s Guild, UK Music and the Musician’s Union. 

Fitzroy launched the Parental Pay Equality campaign in April 2017 to extend the rights of Shared Parental Pay – which was introduced in 2015 – to self-employed workers. 

This week, Labour MP Tracy Barbin proposed a Ten Minute Bill in the Commons which received cross-party support to enable freelance workers to split up to 52 weeks of their time off work after the birth of their child and 39 weeks of statutory pay. Currently – as the law only applies to PAYE workers – only the mother could benefit from pay and leave as part of statutory maternity allowance. 

High profile musicians have all backed the campaign including Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Laura Marling and Ed Harcourt. 

Fitzroy told PSNEurope: “43% of people in the creative industries are self-employed, with much of the work being project based and very reliant on client-relationships. It can be a business and family finance disaster for mothers to hide away for the first year and let their businesses slide, and besides, most fathers want to spend more time with their kids.

“The change we are proposing shouldn’t cost more money, it is simply a case of making the £140 a week that the mothers are entitled to available to either parent.

“At a time when the 18% gender pay gap is rightly under scrutiny, particularly in media, the government cannot afford to do nothing, and I’m proud that the music industry is leading this change.”

Read the full opinion piece here, and watch the video below.