Recording engineer Olga Fitzroy has launched a petition to change the government’s Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) scheme to include self-employed people.
The petition aims to gather public support to change the eligibility criteria for the statutory ShPP to include freelance workers, as the current regulations are often a barrier to women balancing freelance careers in the music industry and childcare duties.
FitzRoy, who won the MPG award for Recording Engineer of the Year in 2016, will present the petition to Women and Equalities Minister Justine Greening once completed.
FitzRoy explained: “43% of people in the creative industries are self-employed and right now they are only entitled to Maternity Allowance – and only if they are mothers.
“The current system of Maternity Allowance for the self-employed places the entire burden of childcare onto the mother and offers no financial support for self-employed fathers or same-sex partners wanting to share childcare,” she added.
“We would like to see ShPP implemented for self-employed parents, as it would allow them more flexibility to successfully run their businesses without claiming any more money from the government than the mothers are currently entitled to.”
FitzRoy adds that the government’s own Taylor Review on Employment recommends that the self-employed get Shared Parental Leave, yet the Government is dragging its heels.
“Our research shows that the rigid system of Maternity Allowance is detrimental to families and businesses, and in 2017 we cannot expect all the childcare in a family to be automatically done by women,” she said.