Select Committee on Social Security Minutes of Evidence

Supplementary memorandum submitted by One Plus: One Parent Families (SG39)


  At the meeting of the Social Security Committee on 10 May, the issue of whether exemption to participate in the Gateway should be dealt with by regulation or guidance was discussed. The Committee asked the organisations providing oral evidence to provide supplementary information on this issue.


  As detailed in the One Plus submission to the Committee, our first position is that access to the work focused element of the Gateway should not be compulsory for lone parents. Therefore all lone parents should be exempt. If this is not the case then we believe that regulation should be developed which exempts:

    —  Those lone parents who have recently experienced divorce, separation, the birth of a child, bereavement, domestic violence or abuse to themselves or any of the children living with them. This would not preclude lone parents in this group taking part in the Gateway if they so wished.

    —  In addition, exemption should be considered for lone parents whose children are of school age but who feel that it is in the child's best interests that the parent remain at home to meet them after school.

  One Plus believes that a Gateway could be of great benefit to lone parents but only if it is voluntary. We believe that the success of the New Deal for Lone Parents is based on its voluntary nature and the benefits it can offer lone parents who are ready and able to return to work or education.

May 1999

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