Parenting and Democracy in Contemporary Europe
Edited by David G. Mayes and Mark Thomson
Chapter 7: What stops lone mothers from working? Insights from the UK’s Millennium Cohort Study
Raising employment rates of lone mothers has been a key policy target in the UK, as most recently reiterated in the Spending Review (DWP, 2007; HM Treasury, 2010). Under ‘welfare to work’ or ‘workfare’ policies, the state has defined new objectives for lone mothers, including how old the youngest child should be when such mothers return to the workforce and how many hours they should work. Ironically, lone mothers’ own assessments of the feasibility and benefits of paid work relative to unpaid care work have been treated as largely irrelevant in a discourse based on earning citizenship through participation in paid work. Setting aside the question of whether lone mothers should receive state support for care, little attention has been given to the feasibility of more lone mothers being able to work, taking into account their prior experiences in the labour market, as well as their qualifications and childcare options. This chapter reflects on two critical issues that are related to lone mothers’ relatively low-paid work participation and highlights how having a coresident partner facilitates mothers’ employment. The first issue is how education, as interpreted through qualifications, mediates the workforce participation of both lone and partnered mothers.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.