The Single Parent Employment Challenge

Clery E, Dewar L, Edney C |   | Gingerbread | Feb 2023

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This report is the final one in Gingerbread's multi-method research project, funded by the abrdn Financial Fairness Trust (previously known as the Standard Life Foundation). The Single Parent Employment Challenge project was designed to explore the employment challenges facing single parents as the UK emerged from Covid-19 restrictions in late 2021. It focused on single parents who experienced unemployment during the pandemic and examined how they became unemployed and, in some cases, re-entered the workforce. It also looked at their attitudes to and experiences of job-seeking and back-to-work support, work plans and childcare interactions, and the implications of the emerging cost-of-living crisis.

Based on the project's findings, this report sets out several policy recommendations to ease the process of moving back into work for single parents. These recommendations will also help the government tackle specific workforce challenges that the chancellor identified in the autumn statement to help stimulate the economy. For example, businesses struggle to fill vacancies, holding the economy back. If roles were better designed with single parents in mind, they could start to be filled, supporting the government to kickstart growth.