14 November 2017

While low and middle-income parents want to work, desire permanent jobs with a sense of purpose and put a premium on job security, a survey by the by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) and Working Families, has found that inadequate pay, a lack of affordable childcare and poor opportunities for progression are holding them back.

While defenders of the gig economy and zero-hours contracts tend to emphasise the number of people who welcome the opportunity to work more flexibly, this report highlights that the great majority of working parents (71%) want permanent jobs.

Furthermore, more than two-fifths (43%) of part-time workers want to work more hours but are prevented from doing so. Parenting responsibilities and the cost of childcare are cited as the main barriers.

The survey also found that almost half (47%) of all working parents with an annual household income under £30,000 said they did not have enough money to support their families.

Almost three-quarters (74%) ranked job security as very important to them, including 36% who gave this the highest possible score of "extremely important" while 61% rated flexible working as their top priority.

Hours worked in a job are a top priority for 72% although there is a noticeable gender split with 36% of woman making this their main priority compared to just 17% of men.

CPAG Chief Executive Alison Garnham said: "Too often parents looking to progress in work hit a brick wall. We are launching Britain Works to address these problems and want a wide range of employers and parents to get involved. But we also need action from Government."

Anyone wishing to get involved in this new campaign is invited to contact Working Families at http://bit.ly/2i0fjsk.