Unhelpful and unfair? The impact of single parent sanctions
Single parents want to work yet Gingerbread’s research shows that sanctions can make it less likely for parents to achieve that goal. This report also shows the first signs that Universal Credit risks making this situation worse, as more single parents – including those with very young children and those who are in work – are subject to conditions that place them at risk of sanctions under the new benefit system.
While a full rethink of the current sanctions system is necessary, Gingerbread calls on urgent action from the government to:
Reduce financial penalties
and introduce a ‘yellow card’ warning system.
Suspend unrealistic job-seeking requirements
including for parents of three and four year olds until affordable and good quality childcare and flexible work is available locally.
Overhaul claimant commitments
so that they are transparent, flexible and appropriate to single parents’ needs.
Focus on providing support rather than inflicting sanctions
to better enable single parents to enter work such as assisting with upfront childcare costs.
- Warnings and sanctions for single parents arise as a result of unrealistic and rigid job-seeking requirements under benefit rules, which fail to recognise single parents’ barriers to work (eg a lack of childcare or flexible work)
- The promise of personalised support with new claimant commitments and Universal Credit has failed to materialise
- Single parents end up with debts and have to rely on foodbanks and other emergency support when sanctioned – even if these are later overturned
- Single parents are left unable to afford to travel to the jobcentre or interviews after a sanction – leaving them further from work
- Sanctions (and warnings) cause considerable distress for parents worried about having the means to look after and care for their children while sanctioned.
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From our Twitter
There is backlash against TGI Fridays for the way that they split up tips which are paid by card. Staff at two outlets are planning a walk out. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/comment/tgi-fridays-should-play-fair-over-tips-as-strikes-loom-a8357341.html …18 May 2018
Research from @HeriotWattUni shows that the demand for new housing is significantly higher than the Government targets would provide. #ukhousing https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/housing-homeless-crisis-homes-a8356646.html …18 May 2018
A report from the @resfoundation found that the number of low paid workers in the UK has fallen to its lowest level since the 1980s - due to increases in the minimum wage. But working poverty in London is still high, with housing costs a major factor. https://www.theguardian.com/money/2018/may/18/number-of-low-paid-uk-workers-falls-to-lowest-level-in-decades …18 May 2018
"The government will consult on banning the use of combustible materials and cladding systems on high-rise residential buildings." - @JBrokenshire speaking to Parliament today. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-5740391/UK-ban-combustible-materials-tall-buildings-Grenfell-fire.html …17 May 2018