DWP Research Report no. 729 Families and Work: Revisiting Barriers to Employment7th April 2011
New research published today by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) explores the relationship between work and parenthood, as well as the role of the support available to parents in helping them overcome any constraints to working.
The main summary findings are:
- Full Time Parenting and Decisions about Returning to Work – The decision to stay at home to look after children was often reported to be a conscious choice, in order to enable parents to provide the care and support their children need to develop emotionally and educationally. Other parents explained decisions to stay at home in terms of a lack of employment prospects, which were sometimes attributed to personal barriers such as poor health and a lack of suitable childcare.
- Job search - Four themes emerged as key influences on the experiences of parents searching for work. These included constrained job opportunities, work experience and confidence, gendered roles and the availability of family and household support.
- Easing the Transition into Work: Transitional and In Work Benefits - Recent policies concentrated on ensuring that work pays, supporting the transition into work; and providing advice and assistance about moving into work were found to have had only limited effect on the concerns of parents about leaving out of work benefits and the financial uncertainties they associated with being in work.
- Experiences of Work – Parents who had returned to work reported both positive and negative experiences. Several factors were reported to support a return to work and to aid job retention. These included working part time, support from family and friends, the flexibility of employers and job satisfaction.
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