How can working families be helped out of poverty?
Research published this month reviewed trends in employment among couple families with children and considered policies and the wider context in four areas likely to affect their employment rate: family leave, childcare, the labour market, and the tax and benefit system.
- The risk of poverty is much higher for children in couple families where only one parent works;
- sole earner families account for a significant minority of poor families with children.
- Many fathers have to work long hours, making it harder for them to get involved in family life and more difficult for mothers to work.
To enable more low-income families to have both partners in work, authors recommend allowing second earners to keep more of their wages before means-tested benefits are withdrawn; more publically-funded affordable childcare; and phasing in more generous family leave, including longer paternity leave.