All parents know how difficult it can be to juggle work and childcare. For families dealing with poverty, it can be extremely hard, and can be a barrier to getting a job and working their way out of poverty. Work can only be a solution to child poverty if employment is possible for parents.
Family friendly employment practices are therefore an essential part of the battle against child poverty. They can help to keep people with children in work, rather than having to leave work to care for their children. Many employers embrace such practices as they can help the retention of key staff. Examples of family-friendly terms & conditions include:
help with childcare through Childcare Voucher schemes
encouraging take up of Childcare Tax Credits
a range of flexible working arrangements such as home working, term-time working and part-time hours
good parental leave entitlement
minimising anti-social shift patterns where possible
The Commission encourages all employers to do what they can to help their employees with children. Support and advice is available from Working Families, a national charity.
Work has to be a better route out of poverty. Most poor children have a working parent.