On 31st October 2017 parents took to the streets in 6 cities across the UK to demand recognition, respect and change for working parents. Organised by the campaign group Pregnant then Screwed, the protestors made 6 demands:
- Increase the time limit to submit a tribunal claim for maternity and parental leave discrimination from three months to six months (at the very least);
- Ensure companies report on how many flexible working requests are made and how many are granted within an organisation ;
- Allow both parents access to six weeks parental leave paid at 90% of their salary;
- Allow self-employed workers access to statutory shared parental pay;
- Provide subsidies for childcare from six months old, rather than the current three years.
The demands aim at remedying the widely acknowledged difficulties experienced by women during pregnancy and returning to work. The difficulties in finding affordable childcare or making working arrangements to fit in with family life.
It being Halloween, the protestors dressed as mummies (corpses not mothers) and marched in Belfast, Cardiff, Manchester, Glasgow and London.
The picture for pregnant women and working parents still looks bleak with many facing unfair treatment and discrimination.