International and Country Perspectives
Edited by Iris Claus, Norman Gemmell, Michelle Harding and David White
Chapter 9: Employment Incentives for Sole Parents: Labour Market Effects of Changes to Financial Incentives and Support
* Jacinta Dalgety, Richard Dorsett, Steven Johnston and Philip Spier 9.1 INTRODUCTION The New Zealand Government has used the tax system as a vehicle for delivering family-targeted social assistance since 1986 when Family Assistance Tax Credits replaced other social assistance for families that was paid entirely through the Department of Social Welfare. Although subject to some criticism (see, for example, Kornhauser, 2009; Ventry, 2007), paying social assistance through the tax system reduces costs by using existing administrative structures, allows greater flexibility in payment schedules than traditional welfare systems and increases the takeup of income-tested entitlements (Ventry, 2007). This chapter looks at the impact of family-targeted social assistance paid through the tax system on the employment rates of sole parents, who in recent decades have had relatively low levels of engagement with the labour market. 9.2 POLICY CHANGES AFFECTING SOLE PARENTS Sole parents are a diverse group: some have the necessary skills and are able to work while others face multiple barriers to employment. National and international evidence indicates that effective support for clients who are not work-ready includes focussing on confidence, raising skill and employability levels, specialist services that increase levels of social participation, and addressing mental health barriers (OECD, 2008; MSD, 2002). 194 Employment incentives for sole parents 195 Successful interventions for work-ready sole parents focus on providing financial incentives and reducing external barriers, for example, by improving access to quality childcare and finding jobs with family-friendly hours (OECD, 2008). New Zealand has promoted employment of sole parents though the...
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.