Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Is the Work Programme working for single parents?

An Analysis of the Experience of Single Parents Moving onto the Work Programme

a research paper by Laura Dewar (Senior Policy & Parliamentary Officer at Single Parent Action Network)

Summary (first two paragraphs)

The purpose of this analysis was to look at the experience of single parents moving onto the Work Programme. We wanted to see whether the people delivering the Work Programme were complying with the public sector equality duty in terms of considering the need to advance equality of opportunity for single parents in relation to their sex.

The vast majority of the 1.9 million single parents in Britain are women (9 out of 10) raising nearly 3 million children. For those that have job seeking requirements as a condition of their benefits (currently those whose youngest child is aged 7 or over) it is important that their needs as parents are taken into account so the jobs that they move into are sustainable for them and their family. There are safeguards in the welfare legislation that mean that single parents’ work preparation and job seeking requirements are different because they also need time to care for their children. In addition, like all public sector organisations, the Department for Work and Pensions and Jobcentre Plus (JCP) are subject to the public sector equality duty in s.149 of the Equality Act 2010 (see Appendix A). This means they must have ‘due regard’ to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination and advance equality of opportunity in all that they do, which includes taking steps to meet the different needs of their customers who share a protected characteristic (in this case their sex).

Full text (PDF 25pp)

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