Unemployment Nightmare For Single Parents

Difficulties of Single Parenting

Difficulties of Single Parenting

According to January figures provided by Poland’s Central Statistical Office (GUS), there are about 211,000 single unemployed parents bringing up at least one child under the age of eighteen among all unemployed people registered in unemployment offices throughout Poland. This means that the number of unemployed single mums and dads has risen by 5.3% compared to last year. Consequently, it is estimated that in Poland today, one in every ten unemployed people is raising children on his/her own. The sudden increase of men among single unemployed parents is also noticeable. In 2005, single fathers constituted about 7% of all single parents, currently that figure has risen to almost 17%. The increase can be attributed to changes in social structure, in which the number of single parents is on the rise, according to Urszula Kryńska from Millennium Bank. Most of those who have emigrated abroad to find work are women, and long separations between spouses sometimes result in family breakdowns. Therefore, the number of single fathers has increased. Profesor Zenon Wiśniewski from Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń states that nowadays Polish courts are more eager to grant custody of children to fathers in divorce case on grounds of a partner’s alcoholism, marital infidelity or incompatibility. Since the number of single fathers is on the increase, so too is the number of single, unemployed fathers. Simultaneously, the number of single mothers is also rising. However, there is a statistical explanation for this: according to GUS figures, about 20% of children in Poland today are born into extramarital relationships. Analysts highlight the fact that both single mums and dads more often go on sick leave in order to look after sick children compared to other employees. This constitutes a significant burden for businesses, especially small ones. In Poland, employers are obliged to cover the cost of 33 days of sick leaves of each employee. So in a difficult economic climate, single parents are the first to lose their jobs since their availability is usually lower than that of other employees. What is even more worrying is when a single parent is made redundant, s/he may find it difficult to become employed again. This explains why the number of unemployed people is constantly increasing. Single parents are not entitled to any special treatment, such as social benefit. According to figures for December 2013, only about 17,000 single parents were supported by the state. The rest were living off savings or were being supported by relatives, others were working in the grey area.

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