Single parents: Tracking the effects of the coronavirus pandemic
Gingerbread and the Institute for Employment Studies IES will track the effects of the pandemic on single parents who were in work at the start of the crisis.
In the UK, two million single parents care for three million children. Whilst 70% of single parents were in work at the start of the Covid-19 crisis they were already twice as likely as coupled parents to live in poverty.
Gingerbread’s research on in-work progression shows the importance of single parents staying in work. Time out of the job market negatively impacts access to jobs that reflect their skills and experience, further pushing them into poverty.
This project seeks to track the experiences of single parents who were in work at the start of the crisis and to influence policy to provide the best support to help these parents stay in work.
Research will track the outcomes for single parents who were in work at the start of the pandemic. Quantitative analysis will provide understanding of how these outcomes vary for different types of single parents and how they differ to those seen in the general population. The project will also gather evidence on the lived experiences of single parents, to understand the factors influencing these outcomes (including the impact of government and employer policies) and how these could best be mitigated for other single parents.
The project will include qualitative interviews at two points in time, to examine the experience of 15 single parents who were in work at the start of the crisis. It will track whether they stayed in work, what enabled them to do so and how they balanced their work, caring (and schooling) responsibilities. For those single parents who moved to the Job Retention Scheme, the project will examine the pathways that led to this outcome and whether it enabled parents to keep their jobs, or led to redundancy in the long-term. For those single parents who leave their jobs during this period, the project will examine the factors that led to this outcome, their plans in terms of re-entering work and how the government and others might support them.