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A new report from Gingerbread calls for job redesign and a focus on quality part-time jobs so that employers can make the most of single parents’ skills.
Job re-design has the potential to open up progression opportunities for single parents and improve their families lives, according to a new Gingerbread report.
Gingerbread says the majority of single parents in the UK are in work (70%), but they are more likely to be low paid and less likely to progress out of low pay, compared with other groups, including parents in couples.
The report says part-time working and a lack of flexibility linked to caring responsibilities are clear barriers to in-work progression. These barriers are much more likely to be experienced by single parents, even compared with other parents. Research shows that there is a lack of quality part time jobs – particularly senior level roles.
Laura Dewar, Policy Officer at Gingerbread and author of the report said: “Across the country record numbers of single parents are in work, but too many are still trapped in low paid jobs, unable to progress and struggling with financial hardship. With children in single parent families more than twice as likely to be living in poverty as those in couple-parent families, it is more important than ever to address this imbalance.
“Both employers and the government have a valuable role to play in addressing the barriers to decent, flexible work for single parents, ensuring that single parents have equal opportunities to progress.”
Gingerbread is calling on employers to offer more senior level roles with part-time and flexible hours and to learn from best practice examples on in-work progression. It also says that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) should introduce a duty on employers to publish flexible working options in job adverts and give workers the right to take up the advertised flexibility from day one. The report also calls on the Department for Education (DfE) to urgently review the childcare cap which limits the total amount that parents can receive in support and it says the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) should target career support and advice to single parents at key stages of their children’s lives, in particular when their youngest child begins primary or secondary school.