Below is an email I have just sent to my MP following yesterday’s Women’s Equality Party #HomeSchooled protests. I’d encourage you to write to your own MP and to sign the WEP’s petition asking for the government to act urgently.
Whether you have caring responsibilities or not, it makes a difference to stand in solidarity with others who are suffering right now. Please act.
Letter to my MP
I hope you are well.
I am a constituent living in X.
I am writing to ask you to encourage the government to take urgent action to address the plight of working parents, carers and guardians, and all those working in childcare.
As a member of the Women’s Equality Party (WEP) I took part yesterday in the ‘#HomeSchooled’ online protests, raising awareness of the state of home schooling and the lack of support offered by the government.
I was extremely disappointed to read the Prime Minister’s patronising letter thanking parents and carers for their tireless work – clearly expecting them to continue at breaking point with no solution in sight.
As the WEP states ‘Since March last year parents have been asked to home school their children for 100 working days. The result is that women are more likely to quit their jobs or be made redundant and children are being left behind.’
The WEP has proposed urgent solutions and I would be grateful if you could raise these with the government and help bring hope back to groups to whom no support is being given:
1. A legal right to shared furlough or guaranteed Self-Employment Income Support for all parents. Currently, parents only have the right to request furloughing and 75% have been refused.
2. Early Years and school staff to be prioritised in the next round of vaccines so that they can reopen safely
3. Increase child benefits to £50 per child and maintain the £20-a-week uplift in universal credit. With children at home, household bills are mounting and forcing families into poverty.
4. Ten days’ extra paid annual leave for all parents and 20 days for single parents to help them manage caring responsibilities without the risk of redundancy.
5. A bailout for nurseries to stop them closing permanently.
As it stands, I have no confidence in this government’s ability to look beyond its own extremely narrow life experience to care for women and everyone left struggling as a result of coronavirus.
Though I do not have children myself, nor childcare responsibilities, I believe that by writing to you I am already showing more support for working parents than I have yet to see from the Prime Minister and the Chancellor. I would appreciate seeing results that prove otherwise.
Many thanks for your time and consideration,