Bastagli, Francesca and Stewart, Kitty (2011) Employment pathways and wage progression for mothers in low-skilled work: evidence from three British datasets. CASEbriefs, CASEbrief30. Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, The London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.
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This CASEbrief reports on the findings of recent research examining the employment pathways followed by mothers entering low-skilled work. The project was originally framed under a Labour Government which placed considerable emphasis on encouraging women back into work when their children were relatively young (pre-school age), first through tax credits and childcare subsidies and subsequently with greater compulsion. A central justification underlying the provision of greater financial support to mothers in employment than to those staying at home was the assumption – frequently expressed in government documents – that even a low-skilled job was a stepping-stone to improved prospects, with a long-run pay-off both for mothers and for the Treasury. We wanted to know how justified this assumption was: how often did mothers’ low-skilled work result in stable employment and progression up the earnings distribution out of low pay?
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