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Universal Credit: Lone Parents

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 101285, tabled on 9 October 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she plans to offer tailored support for jobseeking single parents on universal credit with pre-school-aged children.

Answered on

14 October 2020

Universal Credit is committed to helping parents prepare for work, move into work and stay in work.

Work coaches have the ability to tailor the frequency and type of face-to-face support they offer to the needs of each lone parent or lead carer. Generally, lone parents and lead carers need to prepare for work when their youngest child reaches age 2 and will be required to look for and be available for work when their youngest child is aged 3. Additional safeguards apply during this period and any work-related expectations will be limited to a maximum of 16 hours per week because they are caring for a pre-school age child. Those expected to look for work may limit the time they can spend travelling to and from work and have additional time to attend an interview or take up work so they can make childcare arrangements.

Flexible Support Fund (FSF) is a discretionary fund available for use by Jobcentre Plus Service Leaders and work coaches.

The fund has many uses and could be used to contribute to upfront childcare costs, but it’s core purpose is supporting our customers back into employment through the removal of barriers and funding innovative programmes which sit outside of our mainstream contracted provision.

Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.