Human Hustle: Barriers to Equality for Working Parents

14 September 2021

The legal history of parental rights is one wrought with injustice, and despite maternity rights making their way onto the political agenda way back in 1911, over 100 years on many parents still experience discrimination at the hands of their employers and the political system that fails to protect them.

Britain in particular has had a less than exemplary past when it comes to protecting parents, and in 1988 (too recent to bear thinking about!) the European Commission went so far as to demonstrate just how far Britain was lagging behind in employment law. It wasn’t until 1999 that all employees were afforded a minimum of three months’ unpaid parental leave, while mothers were entitled to 18 weeks’ paid leave.

Today many parents face inadequate support, with many face direct discrimation consequent of their status. In particular, British history is littered with numerous instances where early mothers were left by the wayside, in favour of those not perceived to present a “double burden.

We spoke with those at the forefront of bettering the lives of parents, from specialist employment lawyer Ellie Gilbert, to women’s rights advocate Alice Stephenson, to parental rights activist and founder of Pregnant Then Screwed, Joeli Brearley. In this webinar we discussed both the legal intricacies of parental right’s law, and the reality facing today’s modern parents.

The webinar began with an introduction from our panelists, moving on to a breakdown of the top three barriers facing working parents today: the parental leave system, childcare, and access to flexible working. Following this, our speakers opened to a Q&A, answering the following questions:

– What are your thoughts on the four day working week? 47.23

– Why do we think that employers are so reluctant to trust their employees? Is there any data that shows that employee abuse that trust? 49.25

– How can parents of children with disabilities be better supported by the government? 54.31

– How can people follow Joeli’s progress and campaign? 56.52

Find Ellie on LinkedIn

Find Alice on LinkedIn

Find Joeli on LinkedIn

If you would like to find out more about Joeli and her work, you can visit her charity, Pregnant Then Screwed.

PLEASE NOTE – The above webinar took place on Tuesday 14th April at 10:00pm GMT. Updates may have been introduced after this webinar was recorded.

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