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Gingerbread launch Make it work campaign

Gingerbread website (link opens in a new window)

Children from single parent families are growing up in poverty as successive governments fail to make work pay and tackle single parent unemployment, reports Gingerbread.  The charity, which supports lone parents, has launched a three-year campaign, Make It Work, calling on the Government to take action to help single parents escape unemployment and working poverty.

Single parents and employment 

Gingerbread's research shows:

  • 1.16 million children in the UK are growing up in single parent families where no-one at home works. For those who do work, a job is still not a guaranteed route out of financial hardship. More than 300,000 children in working single parent families are growing up below the poverty line
  • Although more than half (59%) of the UK’s single parents do work, their employment rate is still well below that of the European average (71%) 
  • Single parents with children aged over 12 face double the rate of long-term unemployment compared with other groups – evidence that the Government’s attempts to get more single parents into work are failing
  • Single parents who do manage to find a job, almost a quarter (22%) are out of work again within a year as they struggle to find a job that offers security
  • The biggest barriers to work for single parents as: childcare costs (for 31% of single parents) and a shortage of jobs that were flexible (29%) and that paid enough to make work worthwhile (20%).

Public understanding

A public poll commissioned by Gingerbread shows broad public understanding of the challenges that single parents face. Asked how effective a number of options would be as a way to get single parents into work, people think the most effective ways are:

  • To ensure people are financially better off when they are in work than when they are on benefits
  • To make sure that they have access to affordable childcare
  • For employers to provide flexible working, with jobs fitting around school hours. 

Gingerbread campaign

Fiona Weir, Chief Executive of Gingerbread said: “Times are tough for lots of families at the moment, and the multiple barriers to work that single parent families face are shared in part by millions of other families too. By getting childcare, flexible working and in-work support right for single parents, government, childcare providers and employers can get it right for all parents.”

Gingerbread is calling on the government and businesses to:

1. Make work a guaranteed route out of poverty for single parents

2. Get 250,000 more single parents into work by 2020

3. Employ a different attitude to work and school hours

4. Unlock single parents’ skills and potential.

For more information and to join Gingerbread’s Make It Work campaign, visit the Gingerbread website (link opens in a new window).  

Source: Gingerbread (link opens in a new window)

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