A new study by campaign group Parental Pay Equality and employment rights specialists Organise has revealed only 20% of self-employed women are back to their pre-baby earnings by the time their child is two-years-old.
The shocking figure compares to 26% of the workforce as a whole who are back on their pre-baby earnings by the time their child marks his or her second birthday. This is despite a huge 62% wanting to work more, compared with only 10% of employed mothers in part-time work wanting to work more.
51% (both men and women) said that being eligible for shared parental leave would make the biggest difference to their family, yet 3 years after this legislation was first introduced for employees, the self-employed remain ineligible.
Olga FItzRoy, a self-employed music-producer and founder of Parental Pay Equality, said: “This research shows that self-employed parents want to continue to work and grow their businesses after they have a family, but it is the outdated, sexist system that expects women to do all the childcare that is holding them back. The governement could make a big difference to these families by simply making the Maternity Allowance shareable between men and women, at no extra cost to the taxpayer.”
“My business has suffered because my partner does not take any responsibility for
childcare. Current legislation has allowed him to continue believing that childcare is
not his problem.”
Self¬ employed female with self¬ employed partner, working in television
“For us it is a vicious cycle of the mother turning down work to do childcare then not getting offered more work so the father has to keep taking work and therefore isn't available to do childcare so the mother has to keep turning down work to do childcare etc.”
Self-employed female with self-employed partner
Labour MP Tracy Brabin, who has introduced a bill to Parliament aimed at extending shared parental leave and pay to the self-employed said: “The time for introducing shared parental leave for freelancers is long overdue. It’s clear from this important research that many freelance mums want to work more and that the amount of work they can take can be affected by childcare commitments. The good news for the Government is that I’ve already introduced a bill to make shared parental leave available for freelancers and all they have to do is support it.”