Chris Martin has backed music industry call for parental benefits to be extended to freelancers and self-employed dads.
Martin has a son and daughter with ex-partner Gwyneth Paltrow. He said, “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”.
Estimates vary as to just how many parents can’t use SPL because they aren’t eligible. It could be as high as half of all mums and dads.
When the SPL legislation was introduced in 2015 it put some of the responsibility for it on employers. Campaigners argue that this puts self-employed parents – or couples where one partner is self-employed – at a disadvantage. Those campaigners say that the new flexibilities should be extended to the self-employed. They say doing so wouldn’t have financial implications for the state, instead just requiring a change to the system. All of this is particularly relevant to the music industry because of the high number of self-employed people working in the sector. UK Music reckons 72% of those working in the music industry do so on a self-employed basis.
That means many women are put off or excluded from working in the creative industries. But it also means the many fathers in that sector are unable to access benefits that would allow them to spend more time with their babies and children.
Olga Fitzroy is Music Producers Guild Executive Director and the driving force behind the Parental Pay Equality campaign. She said, “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”.