The Benefit System, Welfare to Work

– Flexible jobs shortage could hamper government single parent work plans

In its emergency budget the government announced that it will need 100,000 single parents to secure employment in 2011, when their youngest child reaches five as opposed to the current age of 10.  Additionally, 120,000 single parents whose youngest child is seven will be required to source employment.

However, the findings in a new report ‘Changing the Workplace’ by the charity Gingerbread suggest that over 500 lone parents felt that there were few jobs that offered them flexible working arrangements; partially indicating the impracticality of the government’s aforementioned employment plans.

The Chief Executive of Gingerbread, Fiona Weir, claimed that recent policy alterations were pressurising single parents to find employment or risk benefit cuts, and argued that this is not what is needed.  She said: “Nationally, nearly 60% of single parents are already in work and most of those on benefits say they want a job. A workplace that works better for single parents is the missing part of the jigsaw. Without action from government and employers many single parents will remain trapped in poverty”

See the Full report

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