On Tuesday 31st October the March Of The Mummies takes place.
Pregnant Then Screwed is an international pressure group and will be marching to Westminster from Trafalgar Square this Halloween.
Concurrent sister marches are taking place across the UK with our very own here in the North East.
The sister March taking place in Newcastle will start at Newcastle Civic Centre at 12noon and march to Grey’s Monument.
The protest seeks to highlight the issue of maternity discrimination which haunts 77 per cent of new mums, and pushes one in nine pregnant women out of their job (EHRC, 2016).
There are five key demands, one of which is of particular interest to me:
Subside childcare from six months instead of three years.
Those who’ve followed me for a while will know I went back to work full time in January following ten months of maternity leave.
I pay approx £530 a month in childcare fees.
This is for 29 hours a week – three eight hour days and one five hour day.
The other day and a half is juggled by grandparents and flexible working.
I’m lucky that my employer does the childcare scheme, so £220 of my monthly salary prior to tax goes straight to the nursery. It probably equates to me being down about £150 a month rather than the full £220. So about £70ish ‘saving’ if you could call it that. (Maths is not my strong point!)
The other £310 is paid after tax.
Now before I get people saying I would be better off going part-time and not spending as much on nursery – I couldn’t afford it.
I’d still be paying for nursery the majority of the time and with less wage it’s just not feasible in our circumstances.
Plus I still want to be in the rat race.
To push at my career while opportunities are being presented to me.
It’s not easy but I’m managing to find a balance.
I just feel penalised for wanting to work and paying for the privilege because I’m a mother. Two years ago that £530 of my salary would all be mine. I wasn’t paying to go to work then – so why should i now?
84% of generation Z and millennials seek flexibility when job hunting and the UK economy would be £165 million richer/more productive if all businesses got on board (Government’s capital and wellbeing report 2017)
The economy benefits if more people are working, surely the government should be encouraging this?
Rather than forcing parents to feel like they’re sacrificing salary or hours because they are, well, parents?
I don’t blame the nursery either.
They need money to function. And that should come from the government instead of the parents themselves.
Like they fund schools.
Nursery is just as educational and should therefore be funded from the outset.
I’m working full-time.
Contributing to taxes and the economy.
Yet I pay 32% of my monthly wage to do this.
Because I’m a mother.
And in this day and age, with the cost of living being so high, I don’t have the luxury of not working at all.
So to help run a house, raise a family and god forbid have a career myself, I pay £530 a month for the privilege.
Where’s the fairness in that?
MUMMIES MARCH ACROSS THE UK THIS HALLOWEEN
The march is being supported by a number of MPs and celebrities. The demonstration follows the success of its recent campaign, ‘Give me Six’, which seeks to increase the time limit to raise a tribunal claim from three to six months. This campaign has the support of 99 MPs and more than 54,000 people.
Joeli Brearley, founder of Pregnant Then Screwed said:
“March of the Mummies is our first demonstration, and we are encouraging those attending to dress up as mummies (the walking dead kind) to highlight the archaic legislation that is in place to protect and support working mums. Despite the success of our #GivemeSix campaign, little progress has been made on maternity and pregnancy discrimination. In March 2016, a Government commissioned report revealed that the number of women losing their jobs for getting pregnant has almost doubled in the last ten years. Since then no decisive action has been taken and in that time 84,000 women have lost their jobs. We are marching, along with our sisters in cities around the UK, to demand recognition, respect and change for working mums.”
The five key demands being presented to parliament:
1. Increase the time limit to raise a tribunal claim from 3 months to (at least) 6 months
2. Require companies to report on how many flexible working requests are made and how many are granted
3. Give fathers access to 6 weeks non-transferable paternity leave paid at 90% of salary
4. Give the self-employed access to statutory shared parental pay
5. Subsidise childcare from 6 months old, rather than 3 years
To find out more about Pregnant Then Screwed please visit www.pregnantthenscrewed.com
For more information about ‘March of the Mummies’ please visit www.marchofthemummies.com or follow the hashtag #marchofthemummies
Love Missuswolf xxx