On Saturday 26th November 2016 the wonderful Raising Films invited Pregnant Then Screwed and Parents in the Performing Arts to lead and participate in a discussion at the Women’s Equality Party Conference on ‘Caring in the Creative sector‘
The discussion took place with 30 other women who were interested in the topic and it gave us an opportunity to consider how changes in current Governmental policy could ensure mothers working in the creative sector are better protected.
A key issue, specific to the creative sector, is that a higher percentage of the workforce are self employed. This coupled with long hours, weekend work and the likelihood of having to be away from home for long periods of time places additional strain on families. This is a particular challenge for the film industry where the Creative Skillset’s surveys show that only 14% of women working in film have children. In the rest of the country 74% of women with children are working.
So what can be done?
In groups we discussed various issues and suggested policy changes that we believe would start to create a culture shift in the way parents manage their personal and professional commitments in the creative sector.
Policy recommendations for the Creative and caring industries panel:
1) WEP to establish a formal alliance with the Creative Industries Federation
2) Introduce paternity allowance and Shared Parental Leave equivalent for freelancers.
Change of terminology –
Paternity allowance to become: Shared Carer’s Allowance (applicable to grandparent or other 3rd parties)
Shared Parental Leave to become: Shared Carers Leave
3) Means tested child care and caring vouchers to be available for freelancers at national minimum wage equivalent.
4) Equal opportunities policies should include primary carers
5) Communications plan to raise awareness, support and change attitudes towards any reproductive or caring responsibilities.
6) Public funders must recognise caring responsibilities as an official access requirement
7) To access the film & TV tax credit available to British qualifying productions, they must encompass British values of inclusion and diversity, including carers.
8) Organisations to be incentivised to offer onsite, affordable caring facilities for children and elderly relatives
9) Abolish confidentiality agreements and nondisclosure agreements for settlements relating to pregnancy and maternity discrimination