Coldplay's Chris Martin spearheads UK Music's drive for a fairer deal for self-employed parents in music industry10 September 2019 - Press release
- Music stars back moves to change rules to end discrimination against self-employed parents
- Parental leave for the self-employed to take centre stage at party conferences as UK Music unveils line-up of expert panellists
- Boris Johnson under pressure from industry leaders to change rules
Coldplay star Chris Martin is helping spearhead UK Music's campaign to end discrimination against self-employed parents in the music industry.
The singer is backing efforts to convince the Government to urgently update shared parental leave and pay rules to include self-employed parents in the creative industries and across the workforce.
At present, self-employed parents have no way of sharing parental leave in the same way as other workers. This is a vital issue for the music industry where almost three out of every four people are self-employed.
To highlight the need for Government action, UK Music has unveiled a brilliant line-up of panellists for the 2019 party conference season to focus on the challenges facing self-employed parents in the music industry.
UK Music is a long-time supporter of these reforms having been instrumental in supporting Labour MP Tracy Brabin's "#SelfieLeave" Bill and Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson's Employment Rights (Shared Parental Leave and Flexible Working) Bill. The Conservative Government is also preparing for a consultation on all aspects of family-friendly working, including parental leave, neonatal leave and flexible work.
UK Music wants an end to this unfair and unjust situation that has a dramatic impact on thousands of the 72 per cent of those in the music industry who are self-employed.
Changing the rules would allow parents greater flexibility over childcare decisions, help close the gender pay gap, enable mothers to maintain successful careers and give fathers the chance to care for their children.
Coldplay frontman Chris Martin 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."
UK Music CEO Michael Dugher said:
"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."
Music Producers Guild Executive Director and founder of Parental Pay Equality Olga Fitzroy said: "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 with Gomez said:
"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."
- There are 4.7 million self-employed workers in the UK, this includes 72 per cent of those working in music, performing and visual arts.
- Research by the campaigning group Parental Pay Equality shows that 54 per cent of those surveyed felt not being able to share paid leave had a negative impact on the mother's work.
- Research on freelance mothers returning to work found that only 20 per cent of freelancers were back to their pre-baby earnings by the time their child was two.
- Parental Pay Equality research found 74 per cent of those surveyed would share leave if it became available. A total of 84 per cent said the ability to share leave would have a positive impact on their family.
- A survey of more than 2,500 workers – including more than 1,000 from the music industry – conducted by Parents and Carers in Performing Arts (PIPA) found that parents and carers were far more likely to leave the music industry than those without caring responsibilities.
"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":
Monday 16 September: 1pm to 2pm, Purbeck Suite, Marriott Hotel, Bournemouth BH2 5DU.
Chair: Michael Dugher, Speakers: Judith Bunting MEP (EU CULT committee), Lord Tim Clement-Jones (Lib Dem Spokesperson on Digital Economy), Olga Fitzroy (MPG Executive Director)
Monday 23 September: 12.30pm to 2pm, Arundel 2, Holiday Inn, Brighton, BN1 2JF.
Chair: Michael Dugher, Speakers: Vicky Foxcroft MP (Shadow DCMS Minister), Horace Trubridge (General Secretary, Musicians' Union), Olga FitzRoy (MPG Executive Director)
Tuesday 1 October: 1pm to 2.15pm, Lancaster Room, Midland Hotel, Manchester, M60 2DS.
Chair: Michael Dugher, Speakers: Simon McVicker (Head of Policy, IPSE), Olga FitzRoy (MPG Executive Director), Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe (House of Lords)