A group of GPs have launched a campaign for fairer maternity pay for self-employed mothers, after witnessing first-hand the ‘silent suffering’ that exists in terms of mental health, behind closed doors during the first six weeks of becoming a mum who runs a business.
We’d really like you to raise awareness of the campaign, and petition, by asking your readers and network to complete this 4-minute survey http://bit.ly/surveymums to enable us to reveal the size of the problem for the first time. The petition for everyone to sign is also here: http://www.gpdq.co.uk/empowering-self-employed-mums/
A bit of background
In the UK, self-employed women receive less maternity pay than their employed equivalents. They receive the same government (state) maternity allowance as people who are employed by a company, however, they do not receive the first 6 weeks of 90% of their annual weekly salary, as employed people do.
The impact of this lack of income during such a crucial time sets self-employed new mums up to fail, with many admitting to considering closing their business or being too embarrassed to ask for help for fear of admitting defeat. Too many are suffering in silence as they try to work through the issues.
This situation is also a deterrent to starting a business, for females of child-bearing age – In 2015, 126,000 businesses were created by women – down from the 139,000 in 2013.
Campaign for equality in maternity pay
The ‘Six Week Support’ campaign will lobby government for the equivalent financial support that an employed new mum receives, for self-employed mums during the first six weeks after having a baby. This financial support will make it more possible for mums to take time out of the business, to enjoy their new child, if only for a short time, before returning to full-time work.
This campaign aims to apply pressure on the government to review their maternity pay policy, as already requested by the Federation of Small Businesses who asked, as a result of their self-employed report: http://bit.ly/FSBREPORT for government ‘to address the discrepancies between the self-employed and employees in the social security system’.