To Kelly Tolhurst
Change the eligibility criteria for statutory Shared Parental Pay to include self-employed people.
Why is this important?
Self-employed parents are not eligible for Shared Parental Pay (ShPP). 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.
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.
Self-employed mothers claiming Maternity Allowance have none of the legal protections afforded to employees when they go on maternity leave, so the flexibility to share childcare and stop and start their maternity pay in order to maintain their business becomes even more crucial. We believe that in 2017 gender-equality is a fundamental right, not an optional extra reserved for those in traditional employent.