Chris Martin backs UK Music campaign to end discrimination against self-employed parents

The Coldplay star is helping lead UK Music’s drive for a fairer deal for self-employed parents working in the music industry.

Alongside UK Music, the singer is backing a push to convince the government to update shared parental leave and pay rules to include self-employed parents in the creative industries.

Currently, self-employed parents cannot share parental leave in the same way as other workers, and subsequently UK Music has unveiled panellists for the 2019 party conference which will focus on the challenges facing parents in the music industry.

As a long-time supporter of these reforms UK Music has backed Labour MP Tracy Brabin’s #SelfieLeave Bill and Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson’s Employment Rights Bill.

The Conservative Government is preparing for a consultation on family-friendly working, including parental leave, neonatal leave and flexible work.

UK Music’s aim is to end the discrimination against the 72 percent of those in the music industry who are self-employed.

These changes would allow greater childcare flexibility, enable mothers to maintain successful careers, give fathers the chance to care for their children and to help close the gender pay gap.

UK Music’s programme for the party conference season includes three panels entitled ‘We Can Work It Out: #Selfieleave and the campaign to help self-employed creative freelancers.’

Chris Martin, Coldplay frontman, says: ‘There is no shared parental leave and pay system in place for self-employed parents. That makes it really tough for many of our freelance colleagues and crew when they have children.

‘Let’s change the law so that self-employed mums and dads can choose when to take parental leave.’

Michael Dugher, chief executive, UK Music, adds: ‘It’s fantastic to have the support of Chris Martin and Coldplay. Self-employed parents working in music and across the creative industries are getting a raw deal. Changes are badly overdue.

‘UK Music has long supported the #SelfieLeave campaign to help parents and carers working in our industry by extending shared parental leave to the self-employed.

‘There is clearly growing support across Parliament for this change and we are grateful to MPs like Tracy Brabin and Jo Swinson who have led the way on this agenda. UK Music will be taking this campaign to the Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem conferences.

‘We hope Prime Minister Boris Johnson and all political parties will embrace this call for equality to help us continue to grow a music industry that contributes £4.5 billion to the economy.’

Olga Fitzroy, Executive Director, Music Producers Guild, and founder of Parental Pay Equality comments: ‘The present antiquated system means we are losing far too much talent because women continue to be penalised under the current unjust rules that force them into being the main care-giver.

‘Women are woefully under-represented in music production and other freelance industries.  That problem and the continuing issue of the gender pay gap will only be properly addressed if the Government gives self-employed parents the chance to balance care-giving for their children with their careers.

‘I hope we can use these events at the party conferences to press home the message to politicians from all parties that changing the rules to help self-employed will not only be a huge help to parents, but also a great boost to the talent pipeline of our fantastic music industry.’

Tom Gray, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Gomez says: ‘We live in complex times, where financial security amongst music creators is at an all time low. Shared parental leave could be a lifeline.

‘The mental health and happiness of young families, where a parent is self-employed, can easily be protected. The mood music has been positive but Government must finally change its tune.’

Savages’ bassist Ayse Hassan said: ‘As a bass player in an all-female band I don’t want to be penalised if I have children or be told by the government that it’s my job to stay at home and look after the baby.

‘It’s time for the government to change the rules so self-employed people can chose how to balance childcare and work.’

For more information on the #SelfieLeave campaign, please visit ukmusic.org and parentalpayequality.org.uk.

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