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Employment

Volume 713: debated on Monday 26 October 2009

Statement

My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Helen Goodman) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

This week we are embarking on the next phase of our package to help more lone parents into employment and to support family life. Lone parents with a youngest child of 10 or above, making a new or repeat claim for benefit, will no longer be able to claim income support but will claim jobseeker’s allowance if they are capable of work, or employment and support allowance if their capability for work is limited by a disability or health condition.

The Government intend to provide additional support to help lone parents moving on to jobseeker’s allowance to balance their work and family life and we will ensure that all lone parents meet with a New Deal for Lone Parent adviser within the first two weeks of their claim to discuss what extra support they need.

We are also today taking further steps to ensure that lone parents can seek part-time work that fits with family life. We are referring to the Social Security Advisory Committee proposals for new regulations under Section 6 of the Jobseekers Act 1995 to allow lone parents with a child aged up to 12 the right to restrict availability for employment to hours that reflect the child’s normal term-time school hours. The draft regulations will then be submitted to Parliament for approval. Guidance to Jobcentre advisers will ensure that this is implemented in practice.