Freelancers could be able to take shared parental leave if a new bill is backed by Parliament.
Tracy Brabin MP is heading the changes that could allow self-employed workers to be take the same leave after a birth that employed staff are able to.
The new bill calls for “maternity allowance to be shared in blocks between freelance parents, replicating the way shared parental leave works for those in more conventional employment”.
A new campaign was recently launched by the government to encourage new fathers to take out their shared parental leave, but around 15 per cent of the UK workforce are not eligible because of the current legislation.
Ms Brabin explained: “Self-employed mums who have given birth currently must take their statutory maternity allowance in one go. They cannot return to work for a month or two and then resume their allowance.
“My bill would allow freelance partners to decide who receives the allowance so that a mum could take a block when she was ready or wanted to re-enter the workplace, while the family still received a regular income from the maternity allowance.”
The Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed body has backed the new bill and believes shared parental leave being extended to all workers could have a positive impact on the UK economy.