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Poverty and welfare to work Kate Bell Gingerbread
Employment central to Labour and Coalition narrative around poverty: • “The Government firmly believes that work is the most sustainable route out of poverty. The challenge for the future is to ensure that all parents are supported and encouraged to cross the bridge back into work and, wherever possible, stay there. ” (Ending child poverty: everybody’s business - 2008) • “Work remains the best route out of poverty. ” (Ending child poverty: Mapping the route to 2020 - 2010) • “At the heart of this fight against poverty must be work. I will work to deliver radical reforms to the welfare system. ” • “A higher proportion of children in the U. K. grow up in workless households than in almost any other European country. ” (Iain Duncan Smith, foreword to State of the Nation 2010)
“I’m not being funny, the Government are trying to make progress but they only know what they know, and they’re living on the other side of the world in a sense, with money and with capabilities of doing the things that they want to do. With us, we’re not. We’re not able to do the things we want to do, because money is an issue …”
Clear evidence that (maternal) employment one part of explaining child poverty rates internationally: • “Countries with good child poverty outcomes… [have]. . a combination of three factors: high labour market participation of parents, low in work poverty and effective income support. ” (Child poverty and child well-being in the European Union Report for the European Commission DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Unit E. 2) • 21. 5 % of children in UK in jobless households compared to EU 25 average of 10. 2%. (Eurostat data 2009) • “The United Kingdom (UK) is clearly in the top league of countries to place increased pressure on benefit claimants…. the UK is also among the lowest spenders on ALMPs as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). ” (Anne Daguerre with David Etherington 2009)
“I have actually thought about the reason why I’ve been as low as I have. And the root of all my problems is because I don’t have enough money coming in the house. . . I mean, food at the moment is a luxury. And the money that I’m on now doesn’t last, and I can’t go on like this any longer. And I know that is the root, that is my underlying problem. ”
Welfare to work for lone parents - initiatives 1997 onwards: • • • 1998 New Deal for Lone Parents. 2001 - Work Focused Interviews (gradual extension) 2003 - Employment Zone access for single parents 2004 In Work Credit piloted (roll out 2008) 2008 - JSA for parents w. youngest children 12+ 2009 JSA for parents w. youngest children 10+ 2010 JSA for parents w. youngest children 7+ 2011 JSA for parents w. youngest children 5+ Plus NDLP+ pilots, ERA, extended schools childcare, work search premium…
I mean, I do think that if there was genuine single-parentcentred help to help single parents think about what they wanted to do with their lives, and there was a bit of trust as well, that possibly we could make the best choices for ourselves that then also would be the right solution. If there was real help that didn’t have an agenda about what was good for the State, I think it would probably ultimately help the State and single parents, in the most rounded way where everyone was benefiting. . . And I’m sure the people in power were given support and help to get into their positions, and you know, it’s almost like we deserve a bit of the same respect I feel, to kind of sort our lives out in a way that’s meaningful to us rather than, useful for the Government. That’s all I’d say but I know it’s asking a lot.
Did it work?
Did it work? • NDLP - between 10 and 24 percentage point increase in parents who enter employmnet compared to non participation - 7 per cent participate. • WFI - reduction in receipt of Income Support of around 2 percentage points. • In Work Credit - 1. 4 percentage points more in work after 24 months (DWP, various). • JSA? 0. 4 per cent increase in employment rate of lone parents 2008 -2009. Role of JSA?
There are no jobs. There’s no jobs. My 18 year old nephew can’t get a job. You know, and I think back to when I was 18 and it was easy. I know many of my friends’ husbands, you know, they’re losing their jobs. I know two friends, they have lost their jobs.
What else is going on? • Tax Credits: Increased lone parent employment rate between 3 -5 percentage points - around 1/3 -1/2 of total increase in employment. • Economy: 2008 -09 2. 1 ppt fall in proportion of partnered fathers, 0. 9 ppt fall in proportion of partnered mothers, 0. 4 ppt increase in proportion of lone parents. • Childcare? Flexible working?
US evidence: “Most US studies show that the employment focused welfare reforms introduced in 1996, and the ‘waiver’ reforms that preceded this, had significant impacts on caseload numbers, household poverty and the employment rates of welfare leavers and single mother households…There has been much analysis of how work based requirements, tax credits and the economy contributed to these impacts, with estimates that tax credits were responsible for about one third of the change, and the economy and welfare reform each responsible for another 25 per cent. ” (Finn and Gloster 2009)
What works in welfare to work? - Tailored services • Relationship with adviser key to success of NDLP. • Confidence building central to working with single parents. (Hasluck and Green, 2007) • Evidence from Gingerbread (Peacey, 2009) and EZ evaluations (Griffiths Durkin and Mitchell 2005) that single parents prefer some kind of specialist service. (Evans et al 2003, DWP)
I don’t know, just more intensive sort of help. [The person who gave CV advice] wasn’t particularly helpful and he didn’t seem to understand the fact havingnot worked for ten years or whatever, means you are very out of touch and you’ve got no confidence and all that business that’s goes with having brought up children and not being in the workplace, sort of thing. He wasn’t really sympathetic at all. So, I don’t know, just some help specifically targeted to single parents really. . . They could probably integrate it more with the NDLP. Cos I feel I have been put on to JSA and abandoned from the NDLP thing. That’s not mentioned to me at all any more by the Jobseeker’s people. I think, somehow if you signed on with the NDLP people instead with the Jobseeker’s people, then they could give you more advice. I feel a bit like the lone parent problem bit has been forgotten because you’re just lumped in with everybody else who’ve got other profiles.
Work first or training? • US evidence - mixed programmes most effective (Portland programme…). • DWP research 2010 - statistically significant impact of receiving training on returning to work for lone mothers. (Cheung and Mc. Kay 2010) • Long term outcomes framework (FND/Work programme) to avoid dilemma?
“Definitely more help with training. [On IS] we’ve not sat down and discussed it, like what I’m discussing with you, what I want to do. It’s just basically, find a job. And any job, it doesn’t matter as long as you get a job. But maybe individualise it a bit more, what the person wants to do, and then try and help them get the training for that job. Rather than just say, go and find a course and if you find one give me a ring, or go and get a job and if you find one, give me a ring. That’s basically all I’m getting right now. ”
Sanctions? • “One under researched factor is the degree to which the existence of sanctions stimulates engagement with services or movements off benefits among the non sanctioned population. ” (Gloster and Finn 2010) • Review of use of sanctions in UK for lone parents found that ‘the sanction regime has had negligible effects on labour market behaviour’. (Goodwin, 2008) • In US and in UK those sanctioned tend to be those most disadvantaged in the labour market.
Yeah, what’s going to happen? I dread it. . The thing is with me, I panic. Because if you don’t turn up or anything like that they’ll stop your money. Now my signing on day is on the Tuesday and I sign on at ten past four in the afternoon. . . Last Tuesday I turned up at half past three, cos I was that scared that something would happen with the buses. I mean the buses are every ten minutes, but I’m scared that I’m gonna be late. I’m panicking, you know, I get palpitations every time I have to go, am I gonna get there on time?
Public or private? • Best evidence from Australia - privatisation - better job outcomes for half the cost - though mixed views of service quality. (Gloster and Finn 2010) • UK evidence? “Over time, there is a marked convergence between the performance of EZs and mandatory New Deals. For all their flexibilities, additional funding and focus on sustainable job outcomes, EZs results may simply reflect a funding regime which incentivises short term interventions and job outcomes. ” (Griffiths and Durkin 2007) • Comparative performance data from FND/Work Programme?
What’s not working? Helping the furthest from the labour market • Evaluations of NDLP/WFI/Ezs all show limited ability to engage with parents ‘furthest from the labour market’. • E. g. "lone parents with literacy and numeracy difficulties, additional care responsibilities or long-term illness or disability have been found to be much less likely than average to start work following an LPWFI. " (Thomas 2007)
What’s not working? Helping people into long term jobs • Data from ERA showed 2/5 of single parents entering work from benefit returning within 2 years (Ray 2010) one NAO study of JSA found 40% return w/I 6 months. • ERA programme - increased full time work, increased speed with which moved into full time work, but “little evidence so far that ERA helped lone parents advance to better jobs. ” (Riccio et al 2008)
• Programmes? Or jobs? “Temporary posts were a key factor in leaving employment. ” (Ray 2010) • Within the low income group work retention is longer for those with higher hourly earnings, those in part time or full time work rather than in mini jobs, the self employed and those working in larger firms. (Browne and Paull 2010)
And you think to yourself, well who’s going to succeed in the long run – it’s not going to be the single parent, it’s actually going to be the Government, cos it’s them who’s going to get the praise, not the single parent. It’s not for us. They say they’re helping us but they’re helping themselves, that’s what I believe. I don’t think they’re supporting us, they’re just pressuring us.
The wider context: • In work poverty… • 58% of local areas say that families have reported a lack of childcare. • Gingerbread survey: single parents had seen no or few jobs they could apply for advertised at part time hours (62%); within school hours (97%); as a job share (95%); or flexible in some other way (97%). (Daycare Trust)
Conclusions • Welfare to work matters - but not the sole or even main influence on parental employment rates. • Personal tailored services work for most parents - but not the most disadvantaged or to help parents into long term jobs. • May be scope for further progress looking at other factors inhibiting parents from getting and keeping jobs - childcare, flexible working, job security.
References • • • • Browne J and Paull G (2010) Parents’ work entry, progression and retention and child poverty DWP Research Report No 626 Cebulla, A. , Flore, G. , and Greenberg, D. (2008), The New Deal for Lone Parents, loneparent Work Focused Interviews and Working Families Tax Credits : a review of impacts, London: Research Report No. 484, Department for Work and Pensions. Cheung S and Mc. Kay S (2010) Training and progression in the labour market DWP Research Report No 680. Anne Daguerre with David Etherington (2009) Active labour market policies in international context: what works best? Lessons for the UK DWP Working Paper No. 59 Evans, M. , Eyre, J. , Sarre, S. , Millar, J. , 2003. New Deal for Lone Parents: second synthesis report of the national evaluation. Research Report. Department for Work and Pensions. Dan Finn and Rosie Gloster (2010) Lone parent obligations; a review of recent evidence on the work related requirements within the benefit systems of different countries DWP Research Report No. 632 Goodwin, V. (2008), The effects of benefit sanctions on lone parents’ employment decisions and moves into employment, Research Report No. 511, London: Department for Work and Pensions. Griffiths, R. and Durkin, S. , (2007), Synthesising the evidence on Employment Zones, Research Report No. 449, London: Department for Work and Pensions. Griffiths, R. , Durkin, S. , and Mitchell, A. (2005), Evaluation of the Single Provider Employment Zone Extension, Research Report No. 312, London: Department for Work and Pensions. HM Government (2008) Ending Child Poverty: Everybody’s Business HM Government (2010) Ending Child Poverty: Mapping the route to 2020 HM Government (2010) State of the nation report: poverty, worklessness and welfare dependency in the U. K. Ray, K. , Hoggart, L. , Vegeris, S. and Taylor, R. (2010) Better off Working? Work , poverty and benefit cycling, York: JRF James A. Riccio, Helen Bewley, Verity Campbell-Barr, Richard Dorsett, Gayle Hamilton, Lesley Hoggart, Alan Marsh, Cynthia Miller, Kathryn Ray and Sandra Vegeris (2008) Implementation and second-year impacts for lone parents in the UK Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) demonstration DWP Research Report No. 489 TÁRKI Social Research Institute (Budapest, Hungary)Applica (Brussels, Belgium) (2010) Child poverty and child wellbeing in the European Union Report for the European Commission DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Unit E. 2. Thomas A (2007) Lone Parent Work Focused Interviews: Synthesis of findings DWP Research Report No. 443