Skip to main content

Employment Schemes: Lone Parents

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 20 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for what reasons payment of the £60 per week in-work credit for lone parents was deemed to be incompatible with the employment retention and advancement pilot operating in north east London. (183620)

The north east London district was one of the six Jobcentre Plus districts that participated in the Employment Retention and Advancement Demonstration project (ERA), which operated between October 2003 and November 2007.

ERA was evaluated using a random assignment research method and customers in the six districts were allocated on a voluntary basis to either a group that received the ERA service, or to a control group that did not. The impact of the programme was determined by comparing the subsequent behaviour and outcomes of both groups. It was not possible to offer the in-work credit to customers in the districts participating in ERA until the programme was complete without invalidating the evaluation.

Retention payments were a key component of the support offered to ERA customers, together with other financial and non-financial support. If customers had been eligible to receive the in-work credit payment in addition to ERA, it would not have been possible to identify which effects resulted from receiving ERA, and which resulted from receiving the IWC. This form of evaluation is dependent on the two groups being identical in every aspect other than receiving the programme being tested, so it was not possible to offer the IWC to the control group alone.

The in-work credit was made available in the north east London district from January 2008.