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Flexible friends? Lone parents and retail

Nickson, D.P. and Warhurst, C. and Dutton, Eli and Lockyer, C.J. (2004) Flexible friends? Lone parents and retail. Employee Relations, 26 (3). pp. 255-273. ISSN 0142-5455

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Abstract

This paper considers a so far unappreciated sector of the labour market - lone parents. The number of lone parents has increased dramatically in recent years. Consideration of lone parents allows for a discussion of two key issues within the contemporary labour market: the attempts by government to increase the number of lone parents in work; and relatedly, governmental initiatives which have sought to reform the tax and benefit system to make work more attractive and also address the need for work-life balance for parents. The paper considers these issues by reporting a small-scale piece of research that sought to address the viability of the supermarket sector as a suitable employer for lone parents. The results suggest that the increasing numbers of students entering the labour market means that supermarkets are unlikely to consider lone parents as an important, discrete source of labour.