The SelfieLeave Bill, which will extend the right to shared parental leave to self-employed people (who are ineligible under current rules) has been gathering support this autumn as stars from the music and entertainment industry gathered outside parliament to support the second reading of the “Shared Parental Leave and Pay (Extension)” bill.
The new law would be a major step forward for gender-equality, particularly in the creative industries where many are self-employed. Celebrity-supporters of the bill include Coldplay’s Chris Martin who said, “This bill would finally give self-employed artists and technicians an opportunity to share parenting in a way that makes sense for them and their families”. Shared Parental Leave (SPL) was brought in by the coalition government in 2015, however self-employed parents were not included in the new legislation. Self-employed mothers can claim Maternity Allowance, paid at the same rate as SPL, but they cannot split this leave into periods of work and pay, or share it with a partner, and self-employed men get no paid parental leave whatsoever. Tracy Brabin, MP for Batley and Spen said, ‘With this Bill I’ve handed the Government a perfect opportunity to show they’re really in touch with the modern world of work and that they’re on the side of families.