Labour Research May 2012

Equality news

Single parents

The experiences of single parents transferring onto the Work Programme (WP), launched last year to help the longer term unemployed, have been revealed in a report from the Single Parent Action Network (SPAN).

SPAN wanted to see whether the providers delivering the programme were complying with the public sector equality duty by taking steps to meet the different needs of their customers.

Nine out of 10 of the 1.9 million single parents in Britain are women and SPAN points out that for those that have job-seeking requirements as a condition of their benefits it is important that their parental duties are taken into account.

Unfortunately, SPAN found that the patchwork of WP providers creates a problem with consistency. It said that job-seeking services are not routinely designed with the needs of single parents in mind and calls for practical changes, such as reconsidering plans to scrap lone parent advisers.