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Gingerbread chief executive Liz Sewell
"A change in culture is what we really need"
 real 28k

Sunday, 26 March, 2000, 04:07 GMT
Single parents seek caring bosses
parent
Lone parents want more understanding bosses
Family friendly employment policies would improve the lives of single parents more than finding another partner, according to a survey.

The poll, carried out by the Gingerbread organisation for lone parents, asked 203 single parents to list the things they thought would make the most difference to their lives.



A parent who takes time off work to take their children to the dentist should be praised not condemned

Liz Sewell
Gingerbread
Flexible family friendly employment came out top of the list while only a quarter ranked finding another partner as their priority.

One in four families in the UK have a lone parent and it can prove difficult for the parent to work without childcare and flexible employment.

Liz Sewell, chief executive of Gingerbread, said: "What lone parents are saying is what we are most interested is something practical that will help us rather than some romantic notion that marriage is the only thing people want."

"People want to make the best of their lives and that means the opportunity to get a job."

Culture change

She said there was a need for a change in the way society views children.

"A parent who takes time off work to take their children to the dentist should be praised not condemned," she said.

"We work the longest hours in this country. We need to have a balance between our family lives and our work lives."

Trade and Industry Secretary Stephen Byers is conducting a review of family friendly policies at work.

He is under pressure to give all new mothers the right to return to work part-time and paid parental leave.

Ms Sewell said: "What we really need is a change in culture."

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