Press Centre

PIONEERING PILOT SCHEME SUPPORTS LONE PARENTS AT WORK

A pioneering pilot scheme at Asda’s Clapham store has reduced labour turnover by five per cent in just six months.  

The pilot ‘lone parent support’ scheme, which began in March, has seen the introduction of a telephone advice line, together with website and e-mail services that provide support to lone parents working at the Asda store.

As a result of the pilot, labour turnover at the Clapham store has fallen from an already low 22.49 per cent to just 17.57 per cent*, the lowest like for like figure at any Asda store within the M25. 

Asda linked up with national charity One Parent Families to run the six month pilot which is part of the charity’s ‘Family Fortunes’ scheme.

The aim is to ensure that lone parents receive the necessary level of support required to allow them to juggle work and family commitments.  

Colleagues have confidential access to specialist advisers who provide in-depth information and support on practical issues from reaching agreements when a relationship ends to housing issues, tax credits and other money matters, as well as child contact and maintenance issues. 

The Family Fortunes programme is a new and innovative employment sustainability initiative that has been developed by One Parent Families to aid employers in their support of workers who are experiencing family difficulties. 

The service helps employers understand how to retain people who are experiencing family change, thereby maintaining good employee relationships whilst minimising disruption to the organisation’s business and its customers. 

During the pilot at Asda’s Clapham store, selected managers also underwent training in order to better understand and support lone parents in the workplace. 

Kirsty Leyland, Asda’s head of colleague relations, commented: “We’re delighted that this pilot scheme seems to be making a tangible difference to the lives of our colleagues.

"We believe all employers have a duty to support their people, particularly those who are experiencing difficult times, and we’re now looking at rolling out this scheme to our other stores  in the London area so other colleagues can take advantage of the support available.” 

One Parent Families’ Chief Executive Chris Pond says: “Juggling caring for children with work responsibilities can be a real struggle if you’re on your own. 

"Nationally, almost one third (31%) of those who are working when they become lone parents find it so tough, that they have to leave their job.  Asda deserves warm congratulations for recognising that lone parents do want to work but need the support and family-friendly policies in place to help them.

"The pilot scheme has been a real achievement for parents and for Asda and we hope that many other companies will be inspired by the results.”

Posted in Press Centre on 24 August 2006