Parental Employment in London

Date published: 
19 December 2013

Our Economy Committee says London is missing out on skills because parents – particularly women – are poorly served by the capital’s labour market.

The summary paper Parental Employment in London says that, as well as being frustrating for individuals, this represents a waste of a significant proportion of the capital’s skilled workforce.

It therefore calls on the Government, Mayor, borough councils and employers to do more to help parents who want to work.

The Committee highlights how in London, the parental employment rate is below the rest of the UK and the greatest difference is among women in couples with dependent children - less than two thirds in London are in employment compared to almost three quarters nationally.

Lone parents also find it particularly difficult to work, with just 57.5 per cent in London in jobs.

The main issues for parents wanting to work include the costs of childcare, a shortage of flexible childcare, few quality part-time jobs and poor employment support for parents.


We call on the London Enterprise Panel, which the Mayor chairs, to include information in its forthcoming strategy on parental employment about:

How it could work with schools and local authorities to provide more ‘wrap around’ childcare

How it might work with employers to increase the number of quality part time and flexible roles

How Business Improvement Districts and Enterprise Zones might provide more crèche and nursery spaces

How skills funding can support parents into work

We also make a number of recommendations to Government including suggesting it should:

Extend the proposed additional childcare support to all working families on Universal credit

devolve more control over employment support and skills funding to London and the boroughs

establish a review to examine how childcare is funded, to ensure it is getting value for money



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