Breaking Dad! Fighting for equality in parental rights.

by Baz Price

Breaking Dad! Fighting for equality in parental rights.

by Baz Price
Baz Price
Case Owner
I'm a 36 year old guy and became a dad last year. My wife and I have a beautiful, confident and happy daughter. I firmly believe that families deserve equality when it comes to parental leave.
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£2,523
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Baz Price
Case Owner
I'm a 36 year old guy and became a dad last year. My wife and I have a beautiful, confident and happy daughter. I firmly believe that families deserve equality when it comes to parental leave.
Pledge now

This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)

Latest: July 29, 2020

Clarity regarding the Full Hearing at the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

Hello all,

I hope you are well and life is returning to some resemblance of the old days.

When all this started in July 2018, my family consisted of my wife Laura, our bump and me. Today's update c…

Read more

Who am I?

My name is Baz Price. I am a 36 year old, married father of one beautiful little girl and live in mid Wales. 

I'm raising funds to fight for mums and dads in the UK to have equal access to parental leave.

My legal case

In September 2019 (after a lengthy, vastly unsupported 14-month process), I represented myself at an Employment Tribunal Hearing where I challenged my employers with sex discrimination. My grievance was based upon the fact that I, a biological father, was only entitled to the basic statutory pay and provisions with the Shared Parental Leave policy (some employers offer enhanced pay on the SPL policy. This includes the Welsh Government). Whereas, biological mothers colleagues are offered enhanced pay with the Maternity Leave policy and adoptive parents are also entitled to enhanced pay and provisions within the Adoption Leave policy in line with the Maternity Leave policy. 

As the claimant (representing myself) I was completely out of my depth at the Hearing regarding the whole process. Moreover, my employers were represented by a barrister with over thirty years’ experience. In my day job I am a preventative caseworker for the Youth Justice Service and help young people and their families to move forward towards a more positive future. I have no experience of courts or tribunals and do not have the character required to be adversarial or to cross-examine witnesses. Needless to say, I didn’t stand a chance and lost unanimously at the Hearing.

Why we're appealing?

My wife and I have decided to appeal the decision because we feel it is important to challenge the obvious outdated, discriminative, stereotypical approach to parental provisions and expectations. 

We feel there is an unconscious bias, which not only reinforces the archaic gender stereotypes of dad being the breadwinner and mum being expected to stay at home to raise the children but also underpins the existence of the Gender Pay Gap. We want families to have the ‘choice’ as to how they share their parental leave in a manner that best suits their family dynamic.

Why are we raising funds?

We learned a valuable lesson from our defeat at the Employment Tribunal Hearing. We learned that in order for us to have the best possible chance of winning at the appeal we need to be represented by legal professionals. As the experience to date has been unprecedentedly stressful for myself, it has given me great relief in handing our case over to a solicitor and a barrister. This comes at a cost, outlaid to be £5000. 

We have agreed a monthly fee with the solicitors and will be invoiced by the barrister as and when he has completed a piece of work on our behalf. We are hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. Therefore, we would massively appreciate any donations from you towards our legal fees. 

Even if we only manage to make a dent in the total cost, any contributions will be gratefully appreciated.

Background to our case - the Swedish example

Just to put this whole situation into perspective, Sweden introduced gender neutral paid parental leave in 1974! Based upon their philosophy that women and men should have equal power to shape society and their own lives. Incredibly, the Swedish Government website states that equality within their country still has room for improvement. 

Meanwhile, the best the U.K. could muster was the introduction of the Shared Parental Leave policy in 2015 (which does not offer enhanced pay and therefore is only useful to more wealthy families who can take the financial hit. As mentioned previously a minority of employers do offer enhanced pay) 41 years after the Swedish precedent and the Shared Parental Leave policy is the best that the U.K. can achieve?

Almost 45 years after the Swedish government progressively addressed equality with parental provisions, I cannot convince educated people, such as heads of services or a Judge that I, as a dad, should be entitled to parental pay and provisions on par with biological mothers and adoptive parents who are employees at my place of work. The mind boggles.

A few last words...

As awkward and weird it feels to ask friends and strangers for money, we hope that you appreciate and recognise how the outcome of this case could benefit thousands of other employees at my place of work and a precedent will be set for many other employees at other local authorities and beyond.  

I want to make it abundantly clear that I am in no way attacking the reputation of my employer or any individuals. I am specifically challenging the policy. I am standing up for my civil and human rights and for all parents who are working within the same policy structure as myself.

Thank you very much.

Baz and family.

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Update 4

Baz Price

July 29, 2020

Clarity regarding the Full Hearing at the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

Hello all,

I hope you are well and life is returning to some resemblance of the old days.

When all this started in July 2018, my family consisted of my wife Laura, our bump and me. Today's update comes to you from my wife Laura, our almost 2 year old daughter Eliza and our 10 day old son George. Laura was and continues to be incredible, as is her way and both her and George are healthy and happy.

As mentioned in the previous update. On June the 5th 2020, the Employment Appeal Tribunal confirmed that our case would go to a Full Hearing. My employers were given 28 days to respond to the Employment Appeal Tribunal. As of today, 54 days have passed and still no news. In all fairness, given the back log of cases within the legal system and the furlough aftermath of Covid-19, this was never going to run smoothly. I foresee that by the time this case is resolved I will have had a vasectomy, be completely bald and well into my Stannah Stairlift payment plan! 

I have been advised to state clearly that our original case at the Employment Tribunal challenged the disparity of biological dads' parental provisions with respect to the comparators of the Maternity Leave policy and the Adoption Leave policy. Our Full Hearing at the Employment Appeal Tribunal specifically relates only to the latter part, the 'Adoption Leave provisions'.

Thank you to everyone who has donated towards our legal fees to date. You will never know how grateful we are. The additional stress and worry this whole process has brought to our home will never be forgotten. We are extremely close to the £2,500 half way mark and feel blown away by this. Interestingly, the percentage of male and female donators are pretty much a 50/50 split. This point alone gives us encouragement, as there appears to be a desire by both sexes for a change that meets our contemporary family needs. 

Here's hoping we will have an update from the Employment Appeal Tribunal soon.

Best wishes,

Baz, Lau, Eliza & George. 


Update 3

Baz Price

June 6, 2020

We have confirmation of a full hearing at the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

I sincerely hope this update finds you well and in a healthy and calm place.

Yesterday was a big day for us. Our campaign to legally challenge the discrimination of fathers had a welcome shot in the arm. Our ideal outcome will be setting a precedent to bring parity with a gender-neutral shared parental leave policy with enhanced pay for the primary carer, regardless of their sex. I challenged this in an Employment Tribunal in September 2019 and lost.

We have had our application to appeal the decision parked in a sifting process for the past six months. We have waited patiently for a decision as to whether a Judge found enough merit in our appeal to hear our case at a full hearing at the Employment Appeal Tribunal. Yesterday, our solicitor at Berry Smith Lawyers shared the following sentence within an email –

‘Your appeal will be listed for a full hearing.’

Complete and utter relief. Since November 2019, we have been crowdfunding to help pay our legal fees for our solicitor and barrister. Our total fees have been capped at £5,000. Money we did not have. We knew that we had to pursue an appeal because we know the parental provisions set-up is discriminatory and if nobody speaks out then change will be a longer time coming. It will come, because it deserves to. We have been sincerely grateful to everyone who has helped us raise £2,263 so far and hope we can get some more donations before the Hearing bills come our way. Our crowdfunding efforts have been ridiculously poorly timed. We started in the run up to Christmas, the Christmas hangover followed, then the Bush Fires appeals, Flood relief appeals, Sport Relief and a pandemic. Which is why we are so overwhelmed at those of you who have chipped in. You are incredible people.

We would be very grateful if you could continue to share our message as far and wide as possible please. The change will benefit every family who wants a practical and contemporary take on deciding how to share the primary caregiving for their babies.

Our grievance has become increasingly relevant since the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions came into force. Every single family have had their parental partnership tested beyond anything we have ever experienced before. For most of us, the parent paradigm has been reinvented. By working from home, spending more time together, emotionally supporting each other, keeping active, juggling work, family and household responsibilities and keeping it together, we have had to address a partnership balance to survive as a unit, or fall apart at the seams. We have had to be a parent, a teacher, a counsellor, an emotional confidant, a P.E. Instructor (with the aid of Joe Wicks), an employee, an entertainer, cook, cleaner, partner and role model. Previously, a lot of us had a reasonably cushy work life balance (in comparison to now) where we accessed childcare from playgroups, child minders, schools, grandparents and extended family and friends to support us. If ever there was a time to address equality in the parental partnership it is now.

The tired old caveman stereotypes of a dad being the breadwinner and the mum being a nurturing cave cleaner, should be left in our prehistoric past. Dads should not be limited to just chipping in when we can fit parenting in. We should be valued and recognised as having an equal stake in a parenting partnership.

The most frustrating issue of our campaign is that my employers and the respondents in this case, Powys County Council, are continuing to struggle to recognise how ridiculously unprogressively they are being. Their spokesperson stated that - “Our policy on shared parental leave should not be amended until such time as the law is changed at a national level.” 

Unfortunately, their statement is a factual struggle. Evidenced by the facts that the Shred Parental Policy states that - ‘Some employers will offer enhanced pay.’ Examples of employers who currently offer enhanced pay for employees on the policy are the N.H.S. and the Welsh Government. Therefore, national level law does not have to change for an employer to offer enhanced pay on par with parents accessing the Adoption Leave and Maternity Leave.

Therefore, I can only assume it must be too expensive for Powys County Council to offer enhanced pay to dads as well as the other parents. However (and this is a very big however), a Powys County Times article from March 5th 2020 reported that - SCRUTINY of gagging orders between Powys County Council and departing staff is to be handed to its audit committee after £400,000 was spent in the last two years.

More than £400,000 was spent on the agreements in the last two years, and between 2005 and 2019 the authority shelled out £4 million. 

Our legal grievance began back in 2018. According to the Powys County Times report, more that £400,000 has been squandered during this time. In addition, they have paid a barrister to fight their corner against us. This comes at a very, very pretty penny. Taxpayers’ pennies.

A sting in the tail of any potential financial argument as to it being ’too expensive to offer dads enhanced pay’. Our grievance began in July 2018 and in other news from July 2018, Powys County Council (as reported in Wales Online on July 18th 2018). The departing Chief Executive of Powys County Council left with a '£180,000 pay off' after a critical inspection. Therefore, if a total of almost half a million pounds of taxpayer’s money was wasted in the past few years in parallel with our reasonable, fair and moral campaign. Why are the council failing to see the bigger picture and value staff morale, job retention, their own Council Values, their Equality and Diversity policy, the Equality Act 2010, United Nations Global Goal 5 (Gender Equality), Human Rights Act and the examples set by the N.H.S. and the Welsh Government? The right thing to do is so obvious for all to see apart from them and this is shameful. Please help us to push this message all the way to the finishing line.

All our best and good luck with whatever the new norm will look like. We are all in this together so reaching out and talking to others has never been so important.

Take care,

Baz, Laura, Eliza & Bump.

Update 2

Baz Price

Dec. 29, 2019

We’ve smashed our Initial Target.

Thank you so much to everyone for donating so far. We are truly humbled by your generosity. We are approximately 3 weeks in and currently have £915. Just the £4,085 to go. A fantastic start to our crowdfunding campaign. 

Our barrister has sent our Employment Appeals Tribunal application in and we are waiting to hear back regarding the ‘Sifting Process’, with the hope that our application will be selected to be heard at an Appeal Hearing. I will keep you all posted. Thanks again. Baz and family.

Update 1

Baz Price

Dec. 11, 2019

Thank you so much.

Thank you so much to you all for your pledges. We had to set an initial target that had to be hit within 30 days or the page would be cancelled. We set ours at an ambitious £500. You guys helped us to hit that in just over 24 hours. We are extremely grateful in general & especially so when considering it’s the run up to Christmas and the circus (election) is in town. Thank you.

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