Duncan Lewis

Family Law

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Non working lone parents with youngest child aged five and above and on Income Support to shift to Jobseeker’s Allowance to get extra help for finding job earlier

Date: (23 May 2012)    |    

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Works and Pensions Minister Maria Miller has announced that as of yesterday lone parents would start getting the help they need to look for work earlier rather than staying on benefits.
Those lone parents who are able to work, and are on Income Support whose youngest child is aged five or over will have to shift from Income Support to Jobseeker’s Allowance where they would receive extra help to return to the workplace. Such change earlier was taken when their youngest child was of seven years old.
Ms Miller said that ii was a known fact that the best route out of poverty was to work and the government was determined to help more lone parents take their first steps into work. Instead of being trapped on benefits, lone parents with younger children would now have additional access to the help and support they need to move closer to employment.
Getting a good balance between work and family responsibilities was important for every parent. Jobcentre Plus advisors were there to actively support lone parents with things like child care and part time jobs so that they can get that balance right too.
She added that the advisors at Jobcentre Plus would be available to give one-to-one advice on the range of support available including training opportunities, childcare, help with job applications and details of part time or family friendly working in their area.
There were 1.8m children living in households with none working and around 600,000 lone parents who depended on Income Support. The Government dedicates around £6 billion per year supporting lone parent families but a child of an out-of-work lone parent is almost three times more likely to be in poverty than those where the lone parent works part-time and five times more likely than those working full-time.
Under Universal Credit, lone parents would be helped to gradually move into work by allowing them to keep more of what they earn. Ministers have also announced an extra £300 million for childcare support under Universal Credit which will help around 80,000 more families work the hours they choose and for the first time support parents who want to work under 16 hours a week.