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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2007): Social security - overseas

(Not) taking account of precarious employment: workfare policies and lone mothers in Ontario and the UK

P.M. Evans

Social Policy and Administration, vol.41, 2007, p. 29-49

Drawing on both primary and secondary sources, this article explores Ontario’s experience with workfare for lone mothers by highlighting the challenges of precarious employment and contrasting its policies with those of the UK. Jobs available to lone mothers leaving welfare are usually low paid and insecure, offer few benefits and often involve unsocial hours. Ontario’s workfare regime is assessed in relation to the ways in which it operates to support contingent labour, both in the specific work requirements attached to benefit receipt, and the broader reforms that have been implemented. It is then contrasted with the UK New Deal for Lone Parents. It concludes that labour market reform is needed to increase the supply of good quality jobs.

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