Government needs to listen and act: ‘The presence of children reduces the probability of women’s transition into employment’, says ESRI report.

(Dublin, Thursday 17th September 2015) One Family, Ireland’s organisation for people parenting alone, sharing parenting and separating, responds to the ESRI’s latest report ‘Transitions into and out of Household Joblessness’.

Karen Kiernan, One Family CEO: “Yet again, evidence informed research clearly states that access to affordable, quality childcare enables women and in particular lone parents, to take up sustainable job opportunities. Without this families and children are at risk of consistent and persistent poverty a reduction in quality of life and the opportunities open to them.”

Stuart Duffin, Director of Policy and Programmes continues, ‘The complexity of jobless households is reflected in how families are made up in contemporary Ireland. 16% of children live in jobless households. The risk of being in a jobless household is related to the employability of those in the household. They are also more likely to be renting their accommodation, to be single or parenting alone, and to either have a disability or to live with someone with a disability.”

Stuart explains, “It’s a simple solution: jobs are required to address the issue, but jobs are not equally distributed throughout the State or are not adequately paid or supported by the tax and benefit system. Also, jobs which parents can do, while meeting their caring responsibilities are not evenly spread, nor do the job requirements necessarily match the skills and capacity of parents seeking the jobs.

Therefore, if government are serious about talking these issues responses will require tailoring, with a role for local organisations and communities helping to deliver bridging programmes and supports. One-parent households are at risk of poverty— one-parent family households experience high levels of deprivation and economic stress. There are barriers and traps for one-parent families (real and perceived). Government have made attempts to address the problem with the reconfiguration of the One Parent Family Payment (OPFP); but they have largely ignored accessible; affordable and quality childcare. Joblessness one-parent families will not be resolved through single interventions and solutions, but through packages that reflect the complexity of the situation of parents and their needs. Any Government responses must include developing their own capacity to provide tailored services that respond to parent’s real needs and circumstances: housing; childcare; life long learning, public employment, community employment.”

Karen concludes, ‘There is a need to understand household decision-making—in making decisions about employment, parents take into account the overall finances of the household as well as the needs of others in the household, especially children.”                  / Ends

Available for Interview

  • Stuart Duffin, Director of Policy & Programmes | t: 01 662 9212 or 087 062 2023
  • Karen Kiernan, CEO | t: 01 662 9212 or 086 850 9191


One Family’s Budget 2016 Submission

One Family’s recommendations for Budget 2016 are simple, low cost and cost effective; and provide a social and economic future which is based on investment and opportunity.

A package of supports for OFP recipients being transitioned must include:

  • The Income Disregard to remain at €90 for all OPFs regardless of their payment.
  • Equal access to all activation measures and in particular MOMENTUM.
  • Access to free fees for part-time education options.
  • Allow JSTA CE participants to have an additional payment of €50/week equalising it with JobBridge in recognition of family costs.
  • Provide specialist bridging programmes for lone parents such as New Futures and New Steps.
  • Raise the Qualified Child Increase to help reduce child poverty by tailoring it to the poorest families.
  • Recognise the value and costs of shared parenting by providing the Single Person Child Carer Tax Credit to each parent.
  • Adjust the Family Income Supplement so that it makes work pay for lone parents by reducing the qualifying hours to 15 hours per week and taper payment.
  • Provide a high quality accessible Childcare and Out Of School Care system.


About One Family

One Family was founded in 1972 as Cherish and is Ireland’s leading organisation for one-parent families and people sharing parenting or separating, offering support, information and services to all members of all one-parent families, to those sharing parenting, to those experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and to professionals working with one-parent families. Children are at the centre of One Family’s work and the organisation helps all the adults in their lives, including mums, dads, grandparents, step-parents, new partners and other siblings, offering a holistic model of specialist family support services. These services include the lo-call askonefamily national helpline on 1890 66 22 12, counselling, and provision of training courses for parents and for professionals. One Family also promotes Family Day and presents the Family Day Festival every May, an annual celebration of the diversity of families in Ireland today ( For further information, visit


ESRI-Transitions into and out of Household Joblessness, 2004 to 2014 Dorothy Watson, Bertrand Maître and Helen Russell

Main findings

  • In 2014, 14 per cent of adults and 16 per cent of children lived in jobless households, down from peaks of 16per cent and 20 per cent, respectively, in 2011/2012
  • During the recession, joblessness became more common among multi-adult households with children
  • Persistent joblessness was higher for children than adults and was more common for women, older adults, those with lower levels of education, adults with a disability and in one-adult households with children.
  • With the onset of the recession, the entry rate to joblessness increased faster than the exit rate.
  • Focusing on those in jobless households, the rate of Joblessness exits between one calendar quarter and the next was just over 10 per cent during the boom, 7.5 per cent in 2008 and 2009 and 8 to 10 per cent from mid-2013.
  • A quarter of adult employment entries resulted in a household moving from joblessness to employment over the period. Similarly, 28 per cent of adult employment exits resulted in household joblessness.
  • The chance of someone in a jobless household entering employment was little more than half that of someone in a working household.
  • The presence of children is linked with a lower chance of entering employment and a higher chance of exiting employment, mainly due to the pattern for women.
  • Married men, younger adults, those with higher levels of education, living in Dublin and who had worked in the last year were more likely to enter employment.
  • To ensure household joblessness continues to fall in line with unemployment, labour market policy should be broadened to include people on home duties and with a disability.
  • Other policies, such as childcare and welfare incentives, are important in reducing household joblessness where children are present.