The impact assessment is the final report in a set of evaluation reports into conditionality changes for lone parents – Lone Parent Obligations (LPO) introduced in November 2008. Since then, based on the age of their youngest child, lone parents have lost entitlement to Income Support solely on the grounds of being a lone parent. From May 2012, the age of the youngest child was lowered to five and over.
The primary aim of the evaluation overall has been to explore whether and how lone parent employment interventions provide an effective incentive to look for paid employment, alongside an effective package of support for workless lone parents to enable them to find, enter and sustain paid employment.
The impact assessment quantifies the impact of LPO, by providing estimates for how many lone parents were moved off out-of-work benefits and into work, as a result of LPO. It examines the impact of LPO on lone parents in the earlier phases of LPO, who lost entitlement to IS between November 2008 and the end of June 2011, at a time when their youngest child was at least 7 years old. It does not consider the impact of LPO on lone parents with a youngest child aged 5 and 6.
Other elements of the evaluation
An international evidence review
LPO – a review of evidence on the work-related requirements within the benefit systems of different countries, Finn, D and Gloster, R, 2010, DWP Research Report 632
Three waves of qualitative research, including interviews with Jobcentre Plus staff and lone parents
LPO – early findings of implementation as well as experiences of the Income Support and Jobseeker’s Allowance regimes, by Gloster et al, 2010, DWP Research Report 645
LPO – destinations of lone parents after Income Support eligibility ends, Casebourne et al, 2010, DWP Research Report 710
LPO – work, childcare and the Jobseeker’s Allowance regime, Lane et al, 2011, DWP Research Report 782
Two waves of a longitudinal survey, interviewing lone parents on Income Support before they lost eligibility to IS and, then again, around 12 months after losing eligibility
LPO – supporting the journey into work, Coleman, N and Lanceley, L, 2011, DWP Research Report 736
LPO – following lone parents’ journeys from benefit to work, Coleman, N and Riley, T, 2012, DWP Research Report 818
The Department for Work and Pensions has used the research from the evaluation to inform policy development for lone parents, which included the subsequent extension of LPO to lone parents with a youngest child aged 5 and over.
We are also using the findings to ensure that lone parents get the support they need, either through work preparation support while they are still on Income Support or when they move off Income Support on to either Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance.