To be furious that Osborne wants to remove the right to request flexible working?(130 Posts)
I am so so angry about this. Have these b*stards any idea how hard it is to be a working mum, the exorbitant cost of childcare etc, constant rise in cost of living coupled with drop in income and lack of job security.
It has put me off my lunch
Will probably need later
After just reading the article about George Osbournes new idea about workers giving up their rights in return for company shares i am finding it very diffiuclt to formulate a reply that doesn't involve copeous amounts of hardcore swearing and incoherent ranting.
'Have these b*stards any idea how hard it is to be a working mum' of course not, him and his cronnies dont live in the real world like the rest of us
My place doesn't offer flexible working though unfortunately so it's an everyday thing for some people
I just don't have the words.
Is he having a laugh.
He needs to get a grip on reality, with out flexible work then I would be able to work.
It is like when Monty Burns got the nuclear powerplant workers to give up their health insurance in exchange for a keg of Duff and a pin ball machine.
Silly women playing at going to work. Lets make it impossible so that they will give up on this nonsense and get back to the sink.
That's what it reeks of to me.
I just dont understand why he would do this. I work Full time (as does my partner and we have 3 kids) we earn too much to get any benefits (except child benefit). I am 7 months pregnant and after I return to work I want to only work a 4 day week.
Even by dropping a day we still wouldnt be entitled to any benefits so its not like the state suddenly has to give me money to drop a day at work [confused}
This means that companies will start only employing those who are willing to waive their rights.
And what rights will they have to waive next? Minimum wage? Holidays?
I think that is the point.
Female unemployment is at an all time high.
The cynic in me thinks that the Conservatives want all the females chained to the kitchen sink again, so that there are more jobs for men.
may be exaggerating slightly
YANBU When I go back to work after ML I'm going to need flexible hours, if not I won't be able to work and would have to pack it in. I'd end up being an unemployed single parent, a Tories worst nightmare!
Is it really that hard for companies to get their own way anyway though? You have the right to request part-time, but they can reject that request can't they? I'm not saying that taking the right away is a good idea, just wondering how difficult it is for employers to get around as it stands.
VodkaJelly ...what a nightmare situation.
for those of you lost for words...how about he's a fu**ing knob. Not very mature but I am at a loss to think of anything intelligent to say in response to his proposal. How the hell can any poliitician, left or right, think that this is a good idea ?
I requested flexible working hours - my employers said no.
not sure what they think im going to do then if they want women back at the sink, i dont have a dh/dp so who the feck is going to work to feed my child?
or maybe they are hoping single parents and thier disfuntional offspring will just starve and die, twats
<babbles in frothy incoherent rage>
It seems to me like its just another way for employers to screw employees over.
Another way to demoralise the poor and keep them in their place.
Another way to keep women from working.
They havent a clue. And Osbornes grinning, public schoolboy face makes me want to vomit.
They don't want people on benefits, but they also want to make it fucking hard for parents to work. Make,up your sodding minds you bunch of cunts. Company shares thing is a load of gash I work for an llp can't see them wanting to participate!
Could you link to where that was said. I saw the scheme to offer shares to give up rights but I didn't see anywhere that it was compulsory. I suspect the shares for rights scheme will struggle anyway as some rights come from EU law and I'm not sure you could give them up.
There was a link to an article on here yesterday that said employers could opt in.
So I think that means its not compulsary for employers, but if the company you are applying to has opted in you either take the job on those terms or you dont get the job.
You have to wonder what would happen to existing employees. Do they have to accept the terms or lose their job?
I could have read it wrong though.
The article also said they were aiming to bring it in as soon as April 2013.
The LibDems are currently supporting this idea so I would be surprised if it would get through parliament in a form that forced employees to give up their rights.
I dont hold much faith in the LibDems really.
I'm so angry about this. WTF is going on?
It feels like we're going backwards.
This exaplains that actually the policy is a double whammy - not only do employees get to lose all their rights for shares of dubious ie possible no va;lue, but it also means that companies can earn unlimited amounts tax-free - most small companies have owners who are 'employed' by the company for tax reasons (but obviously do not fear redundancy etc as it' their own company) who will now be able to own their company through tax-free shares - so no rights for employees AND nor tax for employers!
Don't fucking let them get away with this.
Thanks for the link. It will be interesting to see what it finally looks like when it gets to parliament (if it gets to parliament).
Oh I'm sure there will be unwed mother's homes for single parents where your illegitimate offspring is taken from you and given to a nice married couple who can raise it properly.
And whilst we're at it we'll end this whimsy of educating girls to degree level. No husband will want to feel emasculated by his wife.
We seem to be re-entering 1950s in a sneaky,sly underhand way. Makes me so growly and stabby.
Be realistic. There are some jobs that cannot work doing flexitime, and others that work very well. Employers cannot be forced to create flexitime jobs to suit personal circumstances whatever the reason. In the 70s, we had so called flexi-time, but that was limited to 7.45-9.30-am start for 8 hours, plus allowing us to have lunch while working to add to the 8 hours required. But there was no part-time. However, there was one lady, who went sick with a medical certificate for every school holday duration, she was " tackled" but she stood her ground saying she had a medical certificate and they could do nothing, and that was a branch of the civil service - DHSS as it was called then, not a private employer running a business. And there was much less unemployment then anyway.
cookingfunt it will be the 1950s all over again BUT without the living wage thing or the jobs thing. That's the real whammy.
We will start seeing lots of children wandering the streets in dirty clothes again though just like in the good old days.
No employers are forced to create flexitime jobs but many companies do because its good for their image at the moment. Once there's no positives around it, they'll all stop.
It's the giving up a lot of employers rights that angered me.
From the BBC website;
The new owner-employee contract allows owners to award shares worth up to £50,000 to their staff, in return for the employee giving up their unfair dismissal, redundancy and training rights and also the right to ask for flexible working.
but if a job isn't workable with flexible hours, the company/organisation can deny the flexible work request under current legislation anyway.
Yanbu. I'm going to say what I've said before about George and his silly friends, 'the government is trying to kill off single parents'. They're making single parents work, taking more money off us and considering taking away flexible working. The mind fucking boggles.
But <snurk> to the Monty Burns comparison, they so are aren't they.
I asked DH about this - he's involved in Unison locally - and he thinks that they won't be able to do this, or to stop people going to a tribunal for unfair dismissal
Osbourne's other stunner It's enshrined in EU law and isn't a bit we can opt out of.
It really seems it's another way of targeting the poor. If my work offered me 2k worth of shares in exchange for my rights I'd tell them to sod off, because I earn enough that it wouldn't be worth it to me. If someone is on minimum wage though, or has debts maybe, then they might well be tempted to do it. So you'll have a situation where the poor are afforded less rights than the rest of the population.
I do also think that the attack on flexible working is a way of targeting women. I hate the tories anyway, always have, but the things they are doing are really making me angry. And sad, because I can't help thinking they're going to get away with it, and be re-elected to boot! So depressing.
domestic as I recall the good old days weren't actually that good. I'm sure there will be a chimney for those street urchins to sweep.
Do they not realise the poverty that people will be plunged into? Do they not realise that the cost of living must come down,otherwise they will get employment blackspots (most notably places of high numbers of working class and lower middle class) where the cost of living outstrips a wage due to childcare,where women who have recently given birth returning to the workplace without having fully recovered for financial reasons,where workers have less holidays and burn out quicker.
But it's no less than I expected when this excuse of a government took over.
night They might give us lessons in how to perfectly lay a table,apply lipstick and make our own frocks.
And our teacher will be Samantha Brick!
The flexible working is a red herring. Its already very easy for companies to refuse. And many do.
Its the unfair dismissal and redundancy rights which are of most concern to me.
And the fact its being dressed up as A Good Thing by this talk of shares is insulting.
If a company you own shares in is having to make you redundant its not very likely its shares will be worth anything anyway.
Do they think we will fall for this shit?
I wonder would they like to join us in the real world now where companies are not so noble and upstanding and where people are literally living hand to mouth (and sometimes not).
I'm so worn out by their crap.
wannabe even the Daily Mail comments on it were overwhelmingly negative.
The government are utterly clueless except for one thing: they know how to divide and rule.
They know that an awful lot of people despise the poor and hate the idea of anyone getting 'something for nothing'. They also know that most of the population have no bloody idea what's really coming in the next few decades. It's going to make the worst years of the 70s and 80s look like Happy Days.
They will win votes entirely on the politics of the Three Minute Hate and that is why I agree they may get in again.
On that day I may be permanently out of service due to booze. I haven't drunk in a while either.
I might just join you domestic .
cookingfunt they do not give the proverbial sh*t about poverty.
They believe in a firm division between the inadequate poor and the 'real' people (them). They think that the North is a foreign country full of flat-cap-doffing shirkers and that anyone who cannot afford a child and the full insurance policy to ensure that said child will never require a penny of state aid in its life does not deserve to be able to feed that child.
they want us to be able to 'compete' with China by creating a 'lean and hungry' (eg desperate) population who will literally do anything for any slavedriving employer.
is this definitely being brought in?
I hate Osborne and I hate IDS even more
I think there will be a massive epidemic of Mother's Ruin on the next election day, I may also have to spend the entire campaign season drunk as well as i can't stand the sight of Ed Miliband capitulating to the same old tired 'responsibility' rhetoric.
I dont particularly like Ed Miliband.
But he doesnt come across as toxic as DC and GO.
I had employee shares in RBS. Lots of them.
Won't be making that mistake again.
So in theory I now have to give up my rights in exchange for more meaningless bits of paper? I think not.
And he announced it with "Workers of the world unite"? It's a joke to him!
The cooperative model of company ownership works very well and has proven to be successful in many differing markets.
agree wannabe but he subscribes to the same BS on the whole. Just with less added sociopathy.
Novack I don't think I'd feel much like cooperating with a company whose 'cooperation' consisted of an increased ability to sack me easily and a refusal to train me. F* that.
Thing is, once this becomes legal it will become a standard type of job offer. Your job will be on those terms or sod off and claim benefit. Which will become unavailable soon.
Yes, Novack but what Osborne is talking about isn't the John Lewis model...
As I understand it, companies which are set up after this is brought in, will be able to offer employment conditional upon the employee waiving their rights in exchange for shares. So basically "We won't give you the job unless you give up your employment rights for our shares."
I have words, but they would get this post deleted.
This isn't the cooperative model.
Also, please note the link I posted - THIS LAW WILL ENABE COMPNIES TO PAY NO TAX.
So no different than anyone who every went to work for a start up and took lower wages with the possibility of a larger pay out to come if they did a good job and created a viable enterprise.
Startups do not deprive employees of their rights, Novack.
The current right to request flexible working is shit anyway (not excusing him btw) companies can easily refuse on a number of grounds. My company is always refusing and from a legal standpoint they're fine (morally is a whole different issue )
I've come to the conclusion that those who've never had to really work hard or struggle have not got a fucking clue.
They see everything in simple
ton terms. Workers are just resources, the poor are poor because they're just shit. Forgetting of course that they were born with silver spoons shoved up their arses'in their mouths so they did fuck all themselves to earn that cushion aka trust fund.
But Novack, if you go to work for a start up, you may negotiate wages with the promise of bonus/shares whatever to come, but you are still protected by the law. You can't be discriminated against because of your sex, you have the right to maternity and paternity leave, you have all your rights and the start up has to treat you a certain way, according to the law. It's not the same at all.
And it's better for productivity to treat your staff well.
Finally, what the fuck has this policy got to do with austerity? It won't create growth?!
Neither does this plan. It is a choice for the employee to take.
I'm surprised this is the issue you are making a tory bashing thing rather than giving praise for the decisions that 2 sexual offences will mean an automatic life sentence in the future under the tories. The blind hatred for the tories by the minority on here is lame.
I'm not sure what this up in arms is all about. A lot of people don't have flexible working now and didn't have flexible working under the last Labour goverment. I think this giving up rights in exchange for shares is total madness. Surely nobody in their right minds is going to do that.
DP was reading about our George last night.
His mother is a Lady. Real world? I think not.
I dont think any of the choices are particularly attractive for the next election. But Ed might just be tolerable.
Elitist Ed is a comedy character and will be ousted long before 2015 if Labour party members have any sense what so ever.
Novack and Vivienne, it isn't a choice for new employees - the company can make it a condition of employment (of course, if you have an alternative job offer, you may be lucky enough to still have a choice)
Not all companies will take this up
I am watching with interest to see how they will react as they seem to hate the idea of employee rights about as much as they hate the idea of giving employees shares
The other policies they are talking about eg two sexual offences or the burglar bashing, are things which may or may not affect people.
This nonsense about employment rights will affect everyone. As will cuts to benefits. You might think it doesnt if you have a nice well paid secure job now. But everyone is only a few steps away from job losses and dole queues.
It's just so ... distasteful. Right to equal pay? Sell it. Right to paid time off after having a child? Sell it. Nasty, nasty, nasty.
It is a choice you sign the contract and take the job or you don't. No different to what people have been doing for decades about taking ex pat jobs etc.
There are plenty of folks who would like to work a few hours extra in etc. but are barred from doing so by strict weekly hours limits who would be glad to sign away those rights for the opportunity to do a bit more now and them as needs must and get a reward of company shares and a voice in the company structure. This is not much different to the workers councils in many unionised workplaces across europe.
I think you'll find you're the minority here Novack.
I'd rather see my taxes spent on improving employee protections than on banging up offenders for showy life sentences. Oh, and your lot just introduced the right to shoot burglars! My, how the standard of UK living will rise!
Wilson TBF those aren't the proposals.
total BS Novack.
You can already sign out of the Working Time Directive, how the heck do you think lawyers and doctors stay in work.
They are only making it ok to shoot burglars because they are fearing for their mansions incase the dreadful poor people turn to crime.
It's not even a 'sale' though is it... it's an 'exchange' for something that may go up or down in value.
You're not a true participant in the company, and it gets to treat you like cr*p more easily.
I really can't see many people with a brain going for this. They only will if they have to, because they can't get another job. Oh....
There are plenty of folks who would like to work a few hours extra in etc. but are barred from doing so by strict weekly hours limits
People in this country work some of the longest hours in the world. I think 48 hours a week is plenty although many do more than that.
Who are these folk then?
The only way I see this working is by someone accepting a job and waiving employment rights when just starting out in a career and crucially moving on within 2 years. I think it is a stupid, pointless and counter productive proposal (after all, people who have no job security and rights are not going to rush out and spend lots of money). the shares otherwise can't be traded so are effectively worthless -and income tax and employer's NI is due on the transfer.
The only good thing is that out of my extended family of rabid Tories, no one is voting for them next time.
Iggly, they are an invention of the loony right, who are currently so much in the ascendant that I am going to have to start drinking again soon.
azazello even rabid Tories not voting for them??
Why do we have such a rash of them on MN then? Where are they coming from???
It won't affect the Working Time directive, discrimination claims or maternity (other than changing date of information about return to work) because that would be contrary to EU law. The only way of doing that is to leave the EU which is possibly a bit drastic for a policy which won't work...
Tory HQ? can we ask MNHQ to investigate whether a lot of posts are coming from Birmingham?
I think what is becoming apparent even to quite a lot of Tory voters is that the changes won't work and will make it harder for people to find and keep jobs. Also the NHS fiasco has pissed a lot of people off.
do they want women to work or not? I am really fucking confused because you are damned if you do and damned if you don't!
Strict weekly hour limits? May I ask what you are talking about Novack?
I worked close to a 70 hour week right up until having DS last year and am now doing 55 - 60ish.
Protected by EU law? Well, let's not forget the upcoming referendum on EU membership as strongly signalled by the Prime Minister recently...
I am actually giggling at the thought of so many employers groaning under the unbearable yoke of receiving toothless requests for flexible working by their ungrateful employees. Poor old things. Was offloading their training costs onto the taxpayer via the university system not enough?
Programmes like that 999 whats your emergency arent helping the situation either.
Thats maybe a bit random and off topic. But it all feels like an influx of propaganda.
So in summary, this government wants:
- to cut child benefits for multiple children
and at the same time
- reduce the cut off to abortion to 12 weeks
- to cut flexible working and maternity pay
and at the same time
- not reduce childcare fees
- to cut redundancy payments and ability to claim for wrongful dismissal
and at the same time
- make it harder to claim benefits
So, instead of having the wealthy, the poor and the 'squeezed middle', we'll just have the stinking rich and the poverty stricken.
Welcome to 3rd world Britain
The government has said nothing at all about reducing the time limit on abortion. That was a fringe topic and nothing to do with policy.
Nobody is poverty stricken in the UK. The poorest of society are still far better off today than they were last century.
There is the option to opt out of the European Working Time Directive, I have signed something so I can work overtime if I wish.
Novack, I really wonder how you think it's ok to give people the 'choice' to sign their rights away, even if they choose to do so. To me, it's a bit like saying, ok well some factories don't have to have strict safety rules, and we'll pay the employees a bit more to make up for it, so they have a choice to work there or not.
There are some things that people shouldn't have the choice about, and to my mind basic employee rights such as redundancy pay and the option to take a company to a tribunal to sue for unfair dismissal is one of those things.
Novack there is poverty in the UK.
For the first time ever, we've had a Feed The Children charity for children in the UK. It's really sad.
I hope that these headline grabbing, retrograde and infuriating proposals never make it onto the statute books. I hope the House of Lords gives them the kind of shoeing we can apparently dispense to intruders with impunity.
Whichever poster said companies and firms do whatever makes them look good and will very likely enthusiastically embrace these ideas if they are adopted, is correct I think.
These are ideas of a desperate chancellor with a plummeting economy on his hands. He wants to trample on workers' rights in order to promote growth. But these are real people, George, with short, hard-working lives in which they may never own their own home after all that effort. This Government makes me sick and they are unbelievably out of touch. You know that 'squeezed middke', George? They're your voters these days not retired stockbrokers from Surrey.
To my eternal shame, I voted for these morons. Never, ever again.
I would like GO to break into my house tonight. My crowbar is ready.
And how you can claim that nobody is poverty stricken I don't know, with all the food banks that are opening up all over the country. Why do you think they are necessary then, if there's no poverty? Yes, it might be better than a hundred years ago, but there are still people going hungry.
I can't help feeling you are just on a wind up now tbh.
Does the working time directive carry any weight anywhere? I don't know anyone that works a 35 hour week.
'The government has said nothing at all about reducing the time limit on abortion'
Quite right. Four members of the Cabinet have expressed their personal views that the time limit for legal abortion should be reduced in a single 48-hour period. That gives us no idea at all what the government might do should the reactions to those personal views prove positive.
Wilson I think it's just to protect people really isn't it? Stops employers from forcing on extra work.
That is like saying labour wanted to ban abortions because Tony Blair and his wife are Catholics
How can anyone think theres no poverty? How?
I would suggest that anyone who truely believes that should live for just one month on benefits, in a council house.
Living on benefits in a council house is not poverty.
nobody in this country is poverty stricken, jesus what kind of a bubble do you live in? what about the homeless people living on the streets? are they a figment of my imagination
Novack what sort of lifestyle do you live that makes you unaware of the poverty in the uk?
It's not something that's just been fabricated. The facts are there.
Yes Novack, it is.
And thats better than a lot of people have.
From your link Novack - paragraph 6:
'During a visit to the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford, Mr Cameron said he "personally" favoured a "modest reduction" from the current limit of 24 weeks, "because I think there are some medical arguments for that".'
Sorry i have hijacked the thread.
ANd he said there are no plans to reduce it. Tony Blair was anti abrotion through and through but he never introduced legislation either. I'm flabbergasted you believe the liar, war monger Blair over Cameron.
Novack, are you reading what you are typing? The problem is that I DO believe what Cameron said, i.e. he (the Prime Minister of a majority UK government) personally believes the abortion time time limit should be cut. I also believed Tony Blair when he said 'Obviously there is a time beyond which you can't have an abortion, and we have no plans to change that' and which he was far too fly to go on to qualify by bandying specific numbers of weeks about to a journalist.
He said "there are no plans to cut it"
The blind hatred for the tories by the minority on here is lame.
The correct spelling is majority.
Apparently last year 10600 people cured by Atos died not long after being found fit for work. IDS could be quoted as saying "well, it's a start". But then he's a despicable twat. Or tory. Take your pick.
Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.
So, the Tories are coming up with their usual woman bashing policies.
Ignore Novak - he's a Tory plant.
What do we DO about it? Individual action changes lives. Do we join labour? Even tho Ed is rubbish? Do we support 38 degrees?
What can we do to oppose this women hating, poor hating polices?
The Tory cabinet mainly went to Eton. They are mostly men. Of course they don't care about us.
Do how do we counter act their toxic policies?
The lie that people are better off on benefits than in work exposed.
Hmm it is Labour female voters how are more likely to vote for a reduction in the abortion time limit.
novack I am female and vote labour and yes I think the abortion limit needs lowering however 12 weeks is very low. What about severe abnormality picked up on 20 week scans? or something that puts the woman and babys life at risk?
I am not anti abortion or pro life btw.
This government do seem very anti women though! Not like good old Tony Blair who brought lots of females into politics during his time as mp.
It was only Hunt and some of the loony Christians who thinks 12 weeks is sensible.
NOBODY in the government has put forward a paper to lower the abortion limit in any serious way.
Berlusconni, Blairs mate brought tons of woman into politics too. They are just showmen.
Personally I don't care about the sex or colour of the politician i care about the policies.
The fascist bastards are so bloody out of touch thay don't know what its like have to work when you've got kids.
I had to explain to DS what a fascist was today while I was watching the news and
screeching talking at the TV.
He said 'I already know what a bastard is thanks' (!!!)
There wasn't any welfare state in the UK either when we were fighting fascism across europe so comparing the tories to racist, genocidal biggots is a long stretch of the imagination.
Of course you could turn a blind eye to the actual real poverty inflicted on millions and starving to death through economic sanctions hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children under Tony Blair and Labour policies.
I am a bit confused by this.
People don't have a right to work flexibly. They have a right to put forward a case to work flexibly without being sacked. Companies can refuse to let employees work flexibly. Do the Conservatives honestly think this right should be removed or has a mistake been made/they have been misreported?
They are being mis-reported and spun in a bad light on here as people want to deflect from Elitist Ed's jingoistic one nation comedy speech last week.
Novack, you are simply wrong m'dear. We had the old age pension act 1908,
Free school meals act 1909,The National Insurance Act 1911 which set up the first national insurance for health and unemployment payments.
First rule of fight club is know wtf your talking about! As for starving people in Iraq, I presume your point is that if Blaire did it to them we can do it to our own people. That sounds like a civilised attitude....not.
So they haven't yet decided which rights should be traded for shares then?
Yes they have, the rights that give you protection under equality and employment law.
Will it be worth women working anyway if they earn less than min wage and work less than 35 hours a week. They will get no benefit at all.
I know what a fascist is, thank you very much.
Look I think this plan is totally pants but it doesnt mean scrapping of the minimum wage or the Equal Pay Act.
Employees would give up their rights to:
Request flexible working
Time off for training
Stricter maternity rights - giving 16 weeks' notice of early return, not 8.
There is no right flexible working.
The possible removal in some companies (btw: anyone assessed how many want to do this, and do you have to be a plc?) to whether you can request flexible working isn't that important. It was a "smoke and mirrors" measure in the first place, as there was never any obligation on an employer to grant it and very little policing to ensure requests were being taken seriously.
No it's not the scrapping of the minimum wage or EPA but it is an erosion of the rights that have been hard won to allow many women to remain in the workplace.
I don't think many employers will take any of these stupid ideas up (those that are small enough not to have to be competing for the best graduate recruits won't have £2k of shares to give away per head) but I'm appalled that Osborne can put them forward as a serious suggestion in the first place.
I think everyone should have the right to request flexible working. Not just mothers or parents but everyone. If everyone could and DID request flexible working then there would be slightly less of a feeling of I don't want to employ that woman because she might go off and have children and then not be around as much
Lots of companies seem to be stuck in the dark ages and think that you have to actually be there at the same time as everyone else to get anything done.
An intelligent employer would realise that they'd have a better pool of skilled workers to choose from if they didn't exclude those who would have to work non-standard hours.
And happy employees are loyal employees.
If you only require unskilled work then maybe you think there are plenty of fish in the sea. If the job you want doing requires skills or qualifications or takes time to learn, that's not so true even now.
I think George and Dave are secret Scottish nationalists. The campaigns going well so far.......
THIS IS WHAT SAVE THE CHILDREN HAVE TO SAY ABOUT UC AND LONE PARENTS:www.savethechildren.org.uk/node/2457
Poorer working mums trying to earn more for their children by working longer hours will be hit hard by the new Universal Credit, despite government pledges to make work pay, new research by Save the Children shows.
The charity has found that 150,000 of the UKs poorest single working mums could lose up to £68 a week under the new Universal Credit, pushing a quarter of a million children deeper into poverty. The flagship welfare reforms will also hurt "second earners" - most of whom are women - with some families losing up to £1800 per year.
There are 3.5 million children living in poverty in the UK, one of the highest figures in Europe. The majority of these children come from working households, while evidence from overseas shows that supporting mothers in work drives down child poverty.
Female unemployment has recently topped 1m, while mothers already struggling to support their children have suffered cuts to childcare support, child benefit and tax credits. A new poll by Save the Children and Netmums found that 56% of mums said the main thing stopping them from taking a job or making them consider giving up work is the cost of childcare.
Universal Credit will help some families, but mums working hard to stay above the breadline are its big blind spot. It's incredibly hard bringing up 3 kids on £370 a week - losing almost a fifth of that will push many families over the edge, said Save the Children CEO Justin Forsyth. "The government must make sure mums who want to work keep more of their incomes and get more support with childcare. Otherwise well see fewer women in the workplace and more children growing up in poverty.
Universal Credit, which begins to replace the current benefits and tax credit system from October 2013, will leave many families better off but will also make a total of 1.1 million families with children poorer.
Ahead of the budget on 21st March, Save the Children is launching its Mums United campaign in collaboration with Gingerbread, the Daycare Trust and Netmums to make work pay for mothers who want to work their way out of poverty. It makes three main calls to Chancellor George Osborne for his next Budget:
- Ensure single working mums keep more of their incomes before losing benefits, as they are the only earner in the family.
- Ensure second earners keep first £2000 of their earnings without losing any benefits, as main breadwinners do;
- Increase support for childcare costs for low income families from the current level of 70% to 80%, to make sure mums are not priced out of work.
Too many children in this country are going without basics like hot meals or proper clothes because their parents cant earn enough. We know from other countries that supporting mums who want to work takes children out of poverty, so we need a system which offers mothers that choice. Unless we see movement on childcare and benefits for struggling working mums in this budget, it could be too late for hundreds of thousands of children, said Mr Forsyth.
The main findings of the Save the Children research are:
- Lack of funding means that many poor parents trying to work more will lose out under Universal Credit, pushing more children into poverty. The majority of children in poverty live in working households;
- A typical single parent with three children, working full time on or around the minimum wage, could be as much as £3500 per year (£68 per week) worse off;
- A single parent with two children, working full time on or around the minimum wage, could be as much as £2500 per year (£48 per week) worse off;
- As well as hitting single parents working longer hours, the new system will support single earner couple families at the expense of couples where both parents work part-time on a low income. A typical low income couple with three children where one parent works 24 hours a week and the other works a few hours on low pay could lose as much as £1800 a year (£35 per week) under the new system;
- The number of people having to work part-time but wanting full-time work has recently reached a record 1.3 million;
To join Save the Childrens Mums United campaign or find out more, please go to www.savethechildren.org.uk/mums-united and sign your name. To watch mums joining the campaign, follow #MumsUnited on Twitter.
For further information, including interviews with case studies and spokespeople, please contact: Oliver Courtney on 0207 012 6469 or out of hours on 07831 650409.
Notes to editors:
- Universal Credit will streamline the current benefits and tax credit systems into one system. Its impact on family incomes will be complex and vary by family type and size, and by housing and childcare costs. Many low income working families will see increased incomes and improved work incentives, which is very welcome news for those in poverty. However under this top line picture there are worrying exceptions, with some hard-working parents - especially mums - being hit hard. Overall, 2.8 million households will have higher entitlements, 2.7 million households will see no change and 2 million households including 1.1 million households with children will have lower entitlements, according to the Department for Work and Pensions impact assessment of November 2011.
- A single mum who is £68 a week worse off has three children and has earnings from work of around £242 a week (equivalent to working 35 hours a week just above the minimum wage). Her gross income after housing costs is £370 under the current system and £302 under Universal Credit. The calculations are based on a family with average local authority rent and average pre school childcare costs.
- Across the country there are now over one million women unemployed, up from 700,000 in September 2008, with a further 1.3million women classed as economically inactive (as opposed to counted as being unemployed) but wanting a job. 2011 was the first year since 1996 that the Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) claimant count for women was consistently over half a million.
- Amongst couple families only 5% of children in families where both parents work full time and 8% of children where one parent works full-time and one parent works part-time are in poverty. This compares with 29% of children in households where one parent works full-time and the other parent doesnt work. In spite of this the Government is prioritising support for single earner households at the expense of second earners, at a time when full-time work isnt obtainable for many households.
- Female employment and child poverty are inextricably linked. In countries where child poverty is lower there tend to be more women in work
- The Government has said it will ensure no one is worse off under the new system in cash terms by making extra payments to those whose entitlement under Universal Credit is lower than under the current system. However, this protection will only be provided to current claimants and for a time limited period. Details of cash protection have yet to be fully set out. If the circumstances of the claimants change (what this means has not been defined) then they may lose this protection. New claimants will not be protected.
- Some working poor single parents will be better off under the new system because Universal Credit is likely to boost the incomes of single parents working less than 16 hours a week on low pay. However, there will be less of an incentive for this group to increase the number of hours they work to more than 16 compared to the current system.
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