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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2009): Social security - UK

New fathers should get year off, says Clegg

R. Prince

Daily Telegraph, Jan. 7th 2009, p. 10

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg promises to introduce paid parental leave of up to 19 months, with the father able to take over care of the child after six months if the mother wishes to return to work.

The strange death of the liable relative role

N. Wikeley

Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, vol. 30, 2008, p. 339-351

The liable relative rule introduced in the Tudor Poor Laws allowed official agencies to recover costs of supporting claimants of certain means-tested benefits and services from those persons' relatives, where the latter are deemed by law to have primary responsibility for their maintenance. The liable relative rule persisted to the present day in the fields of child support and payment for social care of the elderly, but has now been abolished for all practical purposes by the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 and the Health and Social Care Act 2008.

Surviving the parent trap

Anon.

Labour Research, Jan. 2009, p. 19-21

Until Autumn 2008, lone parents could claim income support and were not required to be available for work until their youngest child reached the age of 16. However, government is now progressively introducing tougher rules and from 2010 lone parents will be required to look for work once their youngest child is seven. Most will be taken off income support and moved onto Jobseeker's Allowance. Government is persisting with its reforms in spite of rising unemployment due to the recession and a continuing lack of affordable childcare.

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