Lone parents will get an extra £20 a week on top of their benefits if they take active steps towards getting work under a pilot scheme being introduced by the government next year.
Minister for employment and welfare reform Jim Murphy said the next phase of plans to help lone parents back to work will be rolled out from April 2007.
Lone parents with children aged 11 and over will be eligible for the ‘work-related activity premium’.
The payment will only be made if lone parents can prove that they are taking steps to prepare themselves for entering and competing in the workplace.
They will also have to take part in quarterly interviews with a personal adviser, where a plan of action will be agreed to move them off benefits and back to work.
Speaking at the Inclusion and Child Poverty Action Group conference, Murphy said: “Helping lone parents to find employment is a vitally important part of our wider strategy to eradicating child poverty.
“Children of lone parents are three times more likely to live in poverty.”
The pilot scheme will be introduced in Bradford, Sandwell, Dudley, Leicestershire, north London, south-east London, south-east Wales, Edinburgh, Lothian and Borders.