Sumi Rabindrakumar

How benefit sanctions push single parents further from work

Benefit sanctions encourage job-seeking behaviour, successive governments have claimed. Yet in the case of single parents, sanctions actually move parents further from work, write Sumi Rabindrakumar and Laura Dewar. They draw on Gingerbread’s research to show how parents are often penalised despite seeking work, caught out by unrealistic expectations from jobcentres and poor administration.

The government argues that benefit sanctions […]

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    How the government keeps underestimating the risk of benefit sanctions to single parents

How the government keeps underestimating the risk of benefit sanctions to single parents

Only a ‘tiny minority’ is affected by benefit sanctions, according to the government. This claim relies on weak data, writes Sumi Rabindrakumar. She looks at the data for single parent sanctions and explains why the risk is not only far greater than suggested, but has also increased compared to a decade ago. So although the government has resisted a […]

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    How the government’s new child maintenance service leaves domestic abuse survivors out in the cold

How the government’s new child maintenance service leaves domestic abuse survivors out in the cold

For parents who cannot reach a ‘family-based’ child maintenance arrangement, the statutory service is the other option. The government has introduced a fee waiver for survivors of domestic abuse who apply to use this service. But although the reform is welcomed, the way it works still leaves many trapped between a dangerous dilemma: get financial support at the risk […]

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    The UK’s low-paid, insecure labour market is failing single parents, creating a welfare policy quandary

The UK’s low-paid, insecure labour market is failing single parents, creating a welfare policy quandary

The single parent employment rate has improved significantly over the past 20 years, but lately this progress has stalled. A new report finds the low wage economy means a job in itself is now not enough for single parents to maintain basic living standards. Sumi Rabindrakumar discusses the findings and argues the government must act now to tackle low […]