Â«saisie des biens, immobiliers ou autres Â» ..... Bourgeois C., Tavan C., 2009, Â« Le revenu de solidaritÃ© active : principes de construction et effets attendus Â», ...... 107. 152. 81. 1257. 1338. 1250. 1111. 1065. 1301. Couple families with children.
Country report on labour market participation and socio-economic situation of lone parents in France
Author Marie-Thérèse Letablier CNRS/Centre d’économie de la Sorbonne, Université Paris 1 and Institut national d’études démographiques, Paris France
Report commissioned by Institut Arbeit und Qualifikation (IAQ), Universität Duisburg-Essen May 2011
Table of Contents 1
Introduction ........................................................................................ 4
Key facts and trends ......................................................................... 6
Policies and political debate on the issue of lone parents .......... 20
Labour market (regulation) ............................................................. 23
Tax and benefit system ................................................................... 28
Family policies and family related services and regulations ....... 32
Active labour market policies ......................................................... 38
Alimony / child support payments / Maintenance allowance ...... 49
Cultural values and norms .............................................................. 53
10 Conclusion ....................................................................................... 58 References .............................................................................................. 59 A. Appendix: Figures and Tables ....................................................... 63 A.1 Socio-demographic structure ........................................................................ 63 A.2 Socio-economic situation/benefits ............................................................... 69 A.3 Labour market
A.4 Family related services .................................................................................. 80
List of Tables and Figures Table A- 1 Table A- 2 Table A- 3 Table A- 4 Table A- 5 Table A- 6 Table A- 7 Table A- 8 Table A- 9 Table A- 10 Table A- 11 Table A- 12 Table A- 13 Table A- 14 Table A- 15 Table A- 16 Table A- 17 Table A- 18 Table A- 19 Table A- 20 Table A- 21 Table A- 22 Table A- 23 Table A- 24 Table A- 25 Table A- 26
Family structure of dependent children in 2006, France ..... Family structure of Households ........................................... Trends in family structures 1975-2005, France ................... Percentage of children under 18 by family structure, France ................................................................................. Trends in family structures 1999-2005 (households) .......... Family structures, France .................................................... Age of parents by family type, France (2004-2007) ............ Lone parent families by age of the parent, 2007, France .... Male/female level of education by type of family, France .... Level of education of lone mothers and lone fathers according to two different data sources, France ................. Level of education and employment status of lone mothers and mothers living in couple, France .................................. Percentage of children by family type and age of children (children aged < 18), France ............................................... Number of children by type of family, 2005 ......................... Families with children by type of family and number of children, 2005 ..................................................................... Percentage of children by age and family type, 2005 ......... Number of years before reconstituting a family after death of a spouse, divorce or separation ...................................... Housing conditions of lone parent families .......................... Poverty and median income by types of families, France, 2008 .................................................................................... Median income (gross/net) of lone parent households, 2006 .................................................................................... Comparison of household’s income before and after social and fiscal transfers .............................................................. Poverty concentration indicator in several eurospean countries ............................................................................. Profiles of the recipients of the Lone parent allowance in 2008 (%) ............................................................................. Situation of RMI recipients with regard to ‚l’accompagnement vers l’insertion dans l’emploi’ (2007) .. Evolution of social benefits (‘minima sociaux’) in relation to minimum wage (SMIC*), in % ......................................... Income from earnings and from social benefits, recipients of API/RSA* ........................................................................ The recipients of the RSA in December 2009 .....................
63 63 63 64 64 64 65 65 65 66 66 66 67 67 67 68 68 69 69 70 70 70 71 71 72 72
Table A- 27
Table A- 28 Table A- 29 Table A- 30 Table A- 31 Table A- 32
Table A- 33 Table A- 34 Table A- 35 Table A- 36 Table A- 37 Table A- 38 Table A- 39 Table A- 40 Table A- 41 Table A- 42 Table A- 43
Table A- 44 Table A- 45
Share of immigrants and their descendants among recipients of mininimum income benefits ( ‘minima sociaux’) and among the population aged 25 to 64 (in %) .. Family structure of the households in receipt of minimum income benefits (‘minima sociaux’) ..................................... Situation in 2006 of parents in receipt of social benefits in 2004 .................................................................................... Distribution of the recipients of benefits according to their socio-demographic characteristics (in %), 2006 .................. Employment status by type of families (%) ......................... Labor force participation of the population aged from 25 to 49 years by family situation and number of dependent children (%) ......................................................................... Working time of women with children by type of family, France ................................................................................. Mothers’ Part time work by type of occupation (%) ............. Earnings from work by household type, France, 2001 ........ Composition of annual income before tax, by type of household and employment status ..................................... Employment by sex and socio-professional category, 2008 (%) ...................................................................................... Employment by sex and occupations, 2008 (%) ................. Working time of men and women, 2007 .............................. Part time work by sex and number of hours ........................ Employment status of men and women, 2009 .................... Children aged below 3 by principal childcare arrangement during the week (%) ............................................................ Change between 2002 and 2007 with regard to children aged below 3 by principal childcare arrangement during the week (in percentage points) .......................................... Average number of hours spent in childcare during the week*, children aged > 3 ..................................................... Attitudes towards family/social policy, 1999, 2005* .............
73 73 74 74 75
75 76 76 76 77 78 78 78 79 79 80
82 82 83
1 Introduction In the mid 2000s in France, 1.76 million families were composed of a single parent living with one or more children under 25 in the same house. The number of so-called “lone parent families1” (familles monoparentales) has increased continuously for the last 40 years. Their number has grown by a factor of 2.5 since 1968. In 2005, 17.7% of children under 25 years of age lived with a lone parent, as compared to 7.7% in 1968 (Chardon et al., 2008). 85% of these families are composed of a lone mother and her children. This increase was mostly the result of divorce. Until the mid-1970s lone parenthood resulted from the death of one of the parents, the father in most cases. However, although in 1962, 55% of lone parents were widows or widowers, less than 10% are now in this situation. According to the 1999 survey “Etude de l’histoire familiale,” nine lone-parent families out of ten are the result of the separation of the parents. In fact, the term “lone parent families” has become less and less accurate to describe these family forms, especially from the perspective of children who, in a large majority of cases, have both their parents (Letablier, 2011). Sometimes, the parents have even never lived together as is the case for 15% of lone parent families. After the separation of the parents, children most often live with their mother: the proportion of lone father families decreased from 20% in 1968 to 14% in 1990, and increased again slowly to 15% in the mid2000s. Nowadays, children generally maintain relationships with both their parents after divorce or separation. More than before, children tend to stay with their fathers, either occasionally or regularly. Although the role of the father is increasingly acknowledged, the proportion of lone father families has increased very slowly over the last decade (it was at 15% as of 2005). Lone parenthood is often temporary since a number of lone parents find a new partner. The average duration of lone parenthood for families with children under 20 is about seven years. However, many parents remain “single” for many years, especially mothers. In France as in other eurospean countries, lone parenthood has been an issue for social policymakers, because lone parents are more at risk of poverty than other families. From the mid-1970s onward, they have been targeted as families in need of support from social policies. However, they have been encouraged to participate in the labour force since being employed has been seen as the best way to limit poverty. By contrast to some other countries, social policies have not provided lone parents with the means to stay home to care for their children; rather, various programs have pushed lone parents to participate in the labor force with the aim of increasing household income and socializing children (Eydoux & Letablier, 2009). Recently (in 2009), the lone parent allowance aimed at poor lone parents has been merged into the minimum income (RSA – Revenu de solidarité active), thereby putting an end to the targeting of lone parents as such. In this report, we first examine the socio-demographic patterns of lone parenthood in France, the socio-economic situation and the labour market participation of lone parent households, using national surveys and other statistical sources. Then, we turn to policies and political debates about lone parenthood during the last 10-15 years, focusing on issues of labour force participation, of the tax and benefit system, and of family policies and family related services. We will firstly focus on developments on the demand side of labour that impact the prospects for lone parents to participate in the labour market and earn a decent wage. We will secondly focus on the major changes in the tax and benefit system during the last 10-15 years that impact the material well-being of lone parents, 1
In this report, « lone parent family » (famille formée d’un parent et de ses enfants) refers to families composed of one parent and his/her children, whereas « single parent families » refers to never married or partnered parents (= celibataires”).
including financial incentives to take up paid work (e.g. changes in eligibility criteria, duration of benefits, or introduction of new benefits). We will thirdly focus on family policies and family-related services (childcare) to explore to what extent and how these policies enhance or hamper the reconciliation of work and family life for lone parents over the last 10-15 years. Finally, the last section will explore cultural values and norms related to lone parenthood. Problems with definition The difficulty in assessing the number of lone parent families in France is due to the various definitions used by different data sources. One of these difficulties is due to the unit of reference: the “household” or the “family.” Whereas “families” are limited to couples with children, lone parent families and childless couples, “households” also include men and women living alone. Another difficulty: in the census, lone parent families are defined as “families composed of one parent living with at least one child in the same place” without any consideration of the age of the child. The main criterion is that the parent doesn’t live with a partner. However, according to the definition used in the census, a “child” is a single person living with at least one of his/her parents, being not a parent himself or herself, nor partnered with another person living in the same dwelling. When the parents live separately, children can only be counted once, even if the child lives alternately with both parents. So, the definition, and therefore the scope of the term “lone parent family” differs in the different data sources: the Insee (Institut national de statistiques et d’études économiques) in charge of the census provides data on lone parent families (familles monoparentales) limited to families with children under 25 years old, whereas data provided by institutional sources, such as the CNAF (Caisse Nationale d’Allocations Familiales) usually refer to the notion of “dependent children,” (that is, under 18 years old or sometimes 20: the age limit at which the “family support allowance” can be delivered). A third problem is due to the term “famille monoparentale” that is no longer adequate to describe the situation faced by most of the children living in “lone parent families” because these children have both their two parents, but they are not living together. A small proportion of children living in lone parent families, in fact, split their time between their two parents, living alternately at their mothers’ home or at their fathers’ home. So, “lone parent family” does not mean that the other parent does not take care of the child, either in emotional, educational or financial terms. Nevertheless, this term will be used in this report as a translation of “famille monoparentale” despite the fact that some other terms have recently been suggested to name these families2. In this report, we will refer to various definitions and age limits of children, depending on the available data3.
For instance, in a recent report, the Haut Conseil à la Famille suggests using the term « foyer monoparental », precisely to call attention to the fact that children living in these “foyers” usually have both parents, even though they do not live under the same roof (Haut Conseil de la Famille, 2010).
We should also notice than there could be some variations in the data due to geographical differences: some data refer to France (as mother country) whereas others refer to both France and overseas territories together.
2 Key facts and trends In this section we provide data on the socio-demographic structure, socio-economic situation and labour market participation of lone parent households from national surveys and other statistical sources that are accessible via the websites of the data providers. Data sources: In this section, data sources are mainly the census and the employment surveys that are carried out by the INSEE (Institut National d’Etudes Statistiques et Économiques). Additional data sources are also used, especially the family surveys (enquêtes familles) that have been carried out in 1990 and 1999 by the INSEE and the INED (Institut National d’Études Démographiques). The Census is the major source for demographic data. The census surveys that are now carried out every year provide estimations of the family structures (number of children living in a couple-family or with a lone parent). The employment surveys also provide data regarding the structure of households (some households may include several families). Employment surveys provide more detailed data on family structures than census surveys. However, disparities between these two data sources may result in variations in the number of families calculated: especially in the number of lone parent families calculated, as shown by Olivier Chardon and Emilie Vivas (Chardon & Vivas, 2009). According to these authors, who have compared the two data sources for the period 2004-2007, there is a divergence in number and trend of children living in lone parent families. Whereas employment surveys suggest a decrease in the number of lone parent families between 2004 and 2005, the census surveys suggest an increase. In addition, the proportion of dependent children living in a lone parent family also differs between the two data sources: according to the 2007 annual census survey, 17.1% of dependent children were living in a lone parent family, as compared to 15.7% according to the employment survey. The authors note that they cannot explain these divergences between the two sources. The census remains useful for assessing the sociodemographic trends over a long period of time, whereas employment surveys provide more detailed information about the current situation. Thus, data provided in this report may slightly differ according to the data sources. Another data source is provided by the “family survey” (enquête familles et histoires familiales, INSEE-INED). This survey was carried out in both 1990 and 1999 (a new survey is currently being done). It gathered information on family structures as well as on the life trajectories and living conditions of individuals (see: Lefèvre & Filhon, 2005 for the major findings of the 1999 survey). There are two other explanations for the variations in the number of lone parent families in France: firstly, the age of children may vary from one data source to another4, secondly, data are sometimes limited to metropolitan France or may include both France and overseas regions together. These two points will be indicated in the table’s notes (table A-1). Socio-demographic structure Data in this section are mainly provided by INSEE and the census, especially census surveys from 2004 to 2007. Definitions of lone parent families and children are the definitions of INSEE (see above).
For instance, young adults who live away from the family for studying during the week are not counted within the families in the census but are included in the employment surveys. That is the reason why it is preferable to consider children under 18 years to limit the bias due to these situations (children are dependent but do not live everyday with the parents).
1.76 millions of lone parent families in France in the mid 2000s In 2005 in France, 1.76 million families (with at least one child under 25 years of age) were lone parent families, that is, almost one family in five. 85% of these families are composed of a lone mother and her children. The number of these families has been growing continuously over the last four decades (see tables A-2 and A-3). They are today 2.5 times more numerous than in 1968. The number of lone parent families with children under 25 more than doubled between 1975 and 2005. Meanwhile the number of couples with children under 25 grew slowly until 1999, before decreasing in the early 2000s. The proportion of lone parent families among families with children under 25 has been increasing. It was 9% in 1975, 10% in 1982, 13% in 1990, 17% in 1999, and around 20% in 2005 (see table A-3). The proportion of lone parent families is higher in overseas territories than in metropolitan France (39% as compared to 21%). In The Antilles and Guyane, more than 40% of children live in a lone parent family. In la Réunion 29% live in long parent families. There are also geographical variations in the proportion of lone parent families in the French territories (15.3% in the Pays de Loire Région and 25.7% in Corsica). 16.4% of children under 18 years old live mainly with a lone parent (table A-4) 16.4% of children under 18 years old live mainly with one parent while 75.4% live with two parents. 5.8% live in a reconstituted family (that is with one of his/her parents and his/her new partner) and 2.4% live in another place, another family or in an institution (Chardon and Vivas, 2009). According to the census, 18% of children under 20 years living with parents lived with one parent in 2006, in metropolitan France and overseas. Households In 2005, 59.4 millions of people living in metropolitan France are distributed in 25.7 millions of households: - 32.8% are one person households - 7.5% are lone parent households - 26.0% are couples without dependent children at home - 28.3% are couples with their children living at home (table A-5) The proportion of lone parent families has been growing continuously over the last forty years, from 2.3% of all households in 1968 to 7.5% in the mid 2000s. Lone parenthood result mainly from separation or divorce Today, separation or divorce is the main reason for being a lone parent. Until the 1960 onwards, the main reason was the death of one of the parents, often the father. In 1962, 55% of lone parents were widowed; in 2005, less than 10% of lone parents are widowed. According to the survey “Etude de l’histoire familiale” carried out by INSEE and INED (Institut d’études démographiques) in 1999, most lone parent families were composed of two parents living separately (Chardon et al., 2008). The survey indicates that lone parenthood resulted most commonly from divorce (49%), then from the separation of unmarried parents (25%), then from having a child without cohabitation with a partner (13%), then from the death of a spouse (9%), then from the death of an unmarried partner
(2%), and least commonly from the having a child after separation during pregnancy (2%) (Algava, 2005). The situations of lone parent families differ according to the event that caused the lone parenthood. Two types of lone parent families are likely to meet difficulties due to low income. Mothers who did not live with the father previously to the childbirth and lone parent families with a child under three years old both experience overlapping difficulties. Single mothers (mères célibataires) are younger than other mothers but are rarely under 18 (=mineures). In fact, early motherhood has rapidly decreased in France, from 10,000 mothers under 18 in 1980 to 4000 mothers under 18 in 1990 onwards. These young mothers have a lower level of education than others and are more often in low qualified jobs. They have a lower employment rate than divorced or separated lone mothers. 85% of lone parents are lone mothers After divorce or separation, children generally live with their mother. In 85% of lone parent families, the parent is the mother (Daguet, 2007). In 2007, lone mother families represented 13.9% of all families. Single mother families represented 11.7% and single father families represented 2.2% of all families (see table A-6). The proportion of lone father families decreased from 20% in 1968 to 14% in 1990. However, most children in lone parent families have relationships with both their parents. More than before, children tend to live with their fathers, either occasionally or regularly. A small proportion of children alternate between living with the mother and the father (Toulemon & Pennec, 2009). However, although the father‘s role is increasingly acknowledged, and although groups lobbying for fathers’ rights are more and more active, the proportion of fathers heading a lone parent family remains limited: only 15% in the mid 2000s. Most children have relationships with both parents. According to the survey Etudes des relations familiales intergénérationnnelles-ERFI) 17% of fathers of children under 25 years of age say that their child does not live in the household, and 25% say that they see their child at least once a week. 18% say that they see their child at least once a month and 22% say that they see their child at some point during the year. Only 18% say that they never see their child (Chardon et al., 2008) Lone mothers are younger than lone fathers Lone mothers are on average younger than lone fathers: the mean age of a lone mother is 38.8 years, while the mean age of a lone father is 43.4 years. Lone parents are in general older than parents in couple families. Only 13.4% of lone mothers and 3.9% of lone fathers are under 30 years of age. To compare, 48.8% of lone mothers and 66.9% of lone fathers are older than 40 years (see table A-7). Less than 5% of women under the age of 25 are lone mothers, whereas 18% of women aged 44 were lone mothers (as of 2005). The proportion of lone mothers decreases within the 45 year old demographic, because children of older mothers often leave the family to live on their own (see table A-7). The age of lone parents is highly dependent on the reasons for being a lone parent: 86% of lone mothers separated or divorced with at least one dependent child under 18 were over 35 years of age, as compared to 35% of single mothers (never married or partnered) and 94% of widowed mothers (see table A-8).
Lone parents share on average a lower level of education than parents living in couple families About 28% of lone mothers have no diploma at all compared to 18% of mothers living in couple families. Slightly more than 21% of lone mothers have a higher education degree (see: tables A-9, A10 and A-11). 40% of children living with a lone parent and 60% living in couple households have parents with a secondary level of education (bac). In 2005, 37% of children lived with at least one parent with a higher education degree (university degree), 44% with at least one parent in a professional (cadre) or a medium level job. Children living with a lone parent are less likely to have mothers with a high level of education or a job than children living with two parents. This gap is reduced for older children and for lone fathers as well (Chardon and Daguet, 2009). According to the census, in 2005, 56% of children lived with at least one parent with a secondary level of education (bac). 37% have at least one parent with a degree in higher education and 16% have parents with a low level of education (no diploma or level BEPC). The youngest children are more likely to have parents with some higher education since the level of education of the overall population has been increasing. Children living with both their parents are more likely than children living with only one parent to live with at least a parent with a secondary level of education: respectively 60% and 40%. This gap reflects the low level of education among lone mothers: 38% of children living in a lone parent family live with a mother who has a secondary level of education (50% of children living with their two parents). This gap is notably higher for younger children: 34% of children under 6 years of age living with a lone mother have a mother with a secondary degree of education (bac), while 59% of children (under 6) living with both their parents have a mother in this situation (Chardon and Daguet, 2009). Children under 3 years of age living with a lone father have a lower level of education than those children of the same age living with two parents, but the difference disappears for older children. A lower number of children in lone parent families, but older on average than in couple families Lone parents have fewer children on average than parents living together: 1.65 and 1.9 respectively (see tables A-12 and A-13). 56% of lone parents have only one child while 39% of two parent families are in this situation; 30% of lone parent families and 41% of couple families have two children; 14% of lone parent families and 20% of couple families have 3 or more children (see table A-14). Lone fathers have fewer children on average than lone mothers: 55% of lone mothers have only one child, 31% have two children, 10% have three children and 4% have four or more children. The figures for lone fathers are respectively 63%, 28%, 7% and 2% (Chardon, Daguet and Vivas, 2008). There are however broad regional differences, especially between metropolitan France and the overseas regions where lone parent families are more common and where the number of children per family tends to be higher than in metropolitan France. Lone parent families with four or more children represent 3% of the lone parent family population in metropolitan France, but make up 21% of the lone parent population in Guyane, 9% in Réunion, and 7% in Guadeloupe and Martinique. Children living with single parents tend to be older on average than those living with both parents: 8% of children in one parent families are under 3 years of age, compared to 15% of children living in two parent families. For children between 3 and 6 years of age, figures are 15% for one parent families and 19% for two parent families. For children between 7 and 16 years of age, figures are 49%
for one parent families and 45% for two parent families. For older children (17-24) figures are 28% for one parent families and 21% for two parent families (see table A-15). Children living with a lone father tend to be older than children living with a lone mother (see table A-15). Lone parenthood: a temporary situation (more so for men than for women) About 7.7% of families with at least one child under 18 years (approx. 580,000 families) are reconstituted families (Vivas, 2009). One marriage out of five is not a first marriage. 93% of these remarriages follow a divorce, whereas 7% occur after the death of the partner. However, widowed men under 55 years of age are more likely than widowed women to form a new couple. In 1999, 49% of the widowed men (under 55) had formed a new couple after the death of the spouse, but this was the case for only 17% of widowed women. After a divorce, fathers who care for their children form a new couple more rapidly than fathers who do not care for their children. Four years after separation, 54% of fathers who care for their children are again partnered, as compared to 39% of fathers who do not care for their children. The situation of mothers is the reverse, but the gap is lower than for fathers (see table A-16). Women form another couple more rapidly when they do not care for their children: 33% of women who do not care for children are partnerned again four years after separation as compared to 27% for women who care for their children. However, we do not have data on formation of new couples without marriage since cohabitation is not registered by INSEE. This means that 1.2 million children under 18 years of age live in a reconstituted family (9%). Remarrying has an effect on allotted tax and social benefits: the lone parent allowance and the RSA increase are no longer provided; the family support allowance is also canceled, although the stepparent has no obligation towards the child of the partner. The tax share advantage for lone parents is cancelled when the lone parents remarries or dissolves a p (civil union).
Socio-economic situation / benefits In this section, we use data from INSEE, especially data from the survey on fiscal and social income (enquête sur les revenus fiscaux et sociaux- ERFS). For some lone parents living alone with one or more child can mean financial hardship and difficulties in time management. The initial income per consumer unit (earnings, alimony, etc.) for lone parent families is 25% lower than the income for one earner couple families with children, and 54% lower than the income of dual earner couple families with children. The initial income for lone parent families is on average 2310 euros (of which 57 % come from earnings from work (Haut Conseil à la Famille, 2010). As already mentioned, two types of lone parent families are likely to face more difficulties and to have lower income as other families: lone mothers who did not live with a partner before child birth and lone parents with a child under three years old. Younger than other mothers, with a low level of education and frequently in low qualified and precarious jobs, these lone mothers have an employment rate lower than divorced or separate lone mothers (57% as compared to 74%). Lone parent households with a child under 3 years old of age have a lower income than other lone parent households (for 51% of them, an income lower than the minimum income: SMIC). Widowed lone
parents have on average a higher income than other lone parents. However, children whose parents were “au foyer” (mothers) or in blue collar jobs are overrepresented among orphans. Divorced or separated parents are in an intermediate situation: divorced or separated mothers have on average a level of education similar to that of women in couple- families, despite disparate situations (Haut Conseil à la Famille, 2010). Average and median income (gross/net) of lone parent households The median income of individuals living in a household in metropolitan France was 19,000 euros per year in 2008: 1580 euros per month. This is the disposable income (the household income divided by the number of consumers units.) The households disposable (net) income is the sum of the incomes of its members, after redistribution – that is to say after including the major social benefits and after payment of direct taxes (see: Lombardo & Pujol, 2010 from ERFS 2008). The net median income of lone parent families is 14,060 euros per year (see table A-18, from Lombardo & Pujol, 2010). The intensity of poverty is the degree to which the median income of the population in question falls below the poverty line. Couples without children have the lowest poverty intensity (15.3%) as compared to 18.5% in the population as a whole. Lone parent families, single persons and couples with children have a poverty intensity higher than 20%. Lone parent families who are most at risk of falling into poverty are also those who are at risk for intensity of poverty (see table A-18). In 2008, 30% of the individuals living in a lone parent family were poor, a proportion that is 2.3 times higher than in the total population (see table A-18). This represents more than 1.6 million individuals who live under the poverty threshold. Lone mother families have a lower median income (see table A-19). Half of them have a disposable income under 14,060 euros per year (1170 euros per month.) The more these families include children, the more they are at risk of poverty. This situation is due firstly to the limited number of breadwinners and secondly to families’s situation with regard to labour force participation: only 55% of the adults over 18 years old living in a lone parent family are employed as compared to 73% of the adults living in couple families with children. The poverty rate generally increases with the number of children living in the family. Lone parent are overrepresented among recipients of social and fiscal transfers Lone parent families are the major recipients of social and fiscal transfers, together with large families (families with at least three children). These transfers increase the median income of lone parents with one dependent child by 13%, and the income of lone parents with two dependent children by 46%. In comparison, social and fiscal transfers increase the median income of couple households with one child by 2%, of coupled households with two children by 5%, and of coupled households with at least three children by 23% (Drees, enquête revenus fiscaux et sociaux 2006 actualisée 2008, modèle INES, cf. Cour des comptes, report, 2010). Transfers are not similar for lone parent families and couple households. Given the fact that lone parent families have on average a lower number of children than couple households (56% of lone parent households have only one dependent child), they receive a relatively lower amount of family benefits. Family/child benefits increase the income of lone parents with one child by 4.5%, and the income of lone parents with several children by 30%. The social benefits and the housing benefits increase the median income of those with only one dependent child by 8% and of those with several
children by 11%. In comparison, these benefits only increase the median reference income of couples with three children or more by 1.4%. After social and fiscal transfers, the median income of lone parent families remains lower than the income of couple households with children. According to data provided by the survey of the minister of social affairs (enquête revenus fiscaux et sociaux 2006, Drees, actualisée 2008, modèle INES, PQE famille 2010), the median income of a single parent with one child was 68% less than that of that of a couple with one child (see table A-20 ) According to Sophie Ponthieu (2009) who compared six eurospean countries (Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Sweden and the UK) using data from the EU SILC panel (see table A-21), the risk of poverty is higher for children of lone parent families in all countries, even if the parent is participating in the labour market, except in the UK where the New deal program of activation for lone parents seems to have produced some effects on child poverty (Delautre, 2008). Except in the UK, programs targeting lone parent families have not proved efficient in notably reducing the poverty of these families. Despite substantial social and fiscal transfers, the reference income per unit of consumption of lone parent families remain lower than the income of couple households, and the poverty rate of children living with a single parent is still high (38.4%). Compared to other EU countries, France is in an intermediate situation with regard to lone parent families’ poverty. Poverty however concentrates on lone parent families who are excluded from the labour market. Lone parents receiving means-tested social assistance / minimum income benefits In general, individuals at risk of poverty receive as much income from social benefits as they do from participation in the labour force. Lone parents share 14% of the total population but 25% of them live in poverty. On average, families living in poverty have a disposable income made up of income from work (50%), family benefits (20%), social assistance benefits (10%) and housing allowances (20%). This distribution has not changed in recent times (Lorgnet & Pujol, 2009). Lone parent allowance (API- Allocation de parent isolé) The lone parent allowance (allocation de parent isolé - API) was created in 1976 in order to provide lone parents with a minimum income for a limited period of time. In 2009, the API was merged into the minimum solidarity income (Revenu de solidarité active-RSA) replacing the RMI (revenu minimum d’insertion). The API was provided by the “Caisses d’allocations familiales” (CAF) and the “Caisses de la mutualité sociale agricole” (CMSA). The API is a mean tested temporary allowance. In January 2010, the income ceiling (per month) to be eligible for the API was 590.81 euros for a pregnant woman and 787.75 euros for a lone parent with one child. The allowance is raised by an amount of 196.94 euros if there is an additional child. The API was conceived as a differential allowance: the amount of the allowance is calculated with reference to the gap between the income ceiling and the net income of the recipient. In addition, a flat rate housing amount (55.21 euros for one single person) is withdrawn from the allowance for recipients who own their house or who don’t rent, as also for the recipients of a housing allowance (Allocation logement) provided by the Cnaf. In 2005, half of the API recipients received between 337 euros and 499 euros per month, but half of the recipients had no income from employment participation (Observatoire de la pauvreté et de l’exclusion sociale – OPES, report 2007-2008; Tomasini, 2008). The question is what happens to the recipients when they are no more eligible. The answer is that most of them become recipients of the RMI.
API recipients may be eligible for one year (for those who separate or divorce) or until the child is three years old (for those who are pregnant or who have a child under three years old).The API “courte” concerned 35,400 households (France métropolitaine) and the API “longue” concerned 80% of the recipients (see table A-22). Slightly less than 10% of lone parent families (9.14%) were recipients of the API in 2005. In December 2008, just before the merging into the RSA (revenu de solidarité active), 200,400 lone parents were recipient of the API (172,000 in metropolitan France and 28,400 in overseas regions5). 98% of the recipients of the API were women; half of them had no income from employment participation. 8 recipients out of 10 were eligibility for this allowance because of divorce or separation with a partner. The duration of eligibility was one year for lone parents with a child aged 3 years or more (API courte- short term API), and until a child’s third year for parents with a child under 3 (API longue). About half of the recipients had only one dependent child. But large families are overrepresented among the recipients, in comparison with their share of the whole population: 25% of the “API courte” recipients and 21% of the API “long” recipients had at least 3 children in 2008 compared to 13% among the family benefits recipients. 49% had at least two dependent children. Most recipients were young: 38% were under 25 years old in 2008 and 62% were under 30 years old. 10% were 40 years old or more, about 30% were between 20 and 24 years old, and 8% were younger than 20 (see table A-22). The number of recipients has been continuously increasing from the creation of the allowance in the mid 1970 until 2006. From 1990 to 2005, the number of recipients of the API increased by 40%, from 129,500 to 181,000, concerning almost only recipients of the API “long” (mothers with children under 3 years old). This increase was partly due to the deteriorated situation of the labour market. However, in 2007-2008, the number of recipients decreased. Several reasons may explain this decrease: a better situation regarding the labour market, an impact in the restructuring of the making-work-pay system, and a change in the conceptualisation of the API in the fiscal system. The minimum income – RMI- (revenu minimum d’insertion) Then RMI was created in 1988 in order to provide a minimum income to people over 25 years old without any economic resource6. The RMI was a mean tested family based benefit, providing a twofold social right: an allowance and a support for “insertion”. The recipient had to participate in “insertion” programs that were specified in the “contrat d’insertion” (see table A-23). On the 1st of January 2009, the RMI was replaced by the RSA. About 26% of the RMI recipients were lone parent families7 in 20088. The merging of the API with the RMI into the RSA in 2009 A recent evaluation of the experimentation of the RSA provides new data on the demographic profiles of the recipients of the RSA/API after the merging of the two benefits (Avenel, 2009). As for the API, almost all the recipients of the RSA/API (97%) are female. Their lone parenthood results from a divorce or a separation in 71% of the cases and 28% of the women are single. Only 1% is 5
Since 2001, the rules of entitlement have become progressively similar in metropolitan France and in overseas France
No age condition for parents with at least one child (already born or to be born)
On December 2008, just before the setting up of the RSA, there were 1 142 000 RMI recipients (1 005 000 in metropolitan France and 137 000 in the overseas departments).
The maximun amount oft he allowance was 690,14 euros for a lone parent with one child and 828,17 euros for a lone parent with two children (Drees, 2010).
widowed. Most of recipients are young: 47% are less than 30 years old, 36% are between 30 and 39 years old and 17% are 40 or older. The mean age is 31.5 years old. Some of these recipients participate in the labour force. Recipients of the RSA/API have fewer children than the recipients of the API in general: 89% have one or two dependent children; 61% have only one child, 9% have three children and 1.5% has 4 children or more. They generally have a low level of education and qualification: 51.5% have a low level of education; 24% have a secondary level (bac) and only 4% have a higher education degree. 6% have difficulties in writing and 5% have difficulties in reading (Avenel, 2009). The economic situation of the recipients of social assistance benefits has deteriorated over the last two decades, in terms of purchasing power, in relation to the minimum wage (SMIC) (see table A-24). The recipients of social assistance benefits, even those who receive the minimum wage, do not benefit from economic growth. For instance (see table A-24) the lone parent allowance (API) that was 64.9% of the SMIC in 1990 decreased to 55.3% in 2008. This decrease may be the result of the implementation of an activation policy that aims at making work pay more than social assistance. The RMI (minimum social income) displayed similar erosion, decreasing from 48.7% to 43.7% of the SMIC during the same period of time (Observatoire de la pauvreté et de l’exclusion sociale – ONPES , 2010). Tables A-25 and A-26 show that the recipients of the lone parent allowance in the frame of the RSA earn less than 400 euros on average per month from work (29% receive less than 600 euros, 17% receive a salary comprise between 600 and 900 euros and 10.5% receive more than 900 euros from paid work). Half of the recipients earn less than 183.5 euros per month (median salary). The low amount of income form paid work is partly due to the prevalence of part-time jobs (Avenel, 2009: 33). The income from family benefits is on average higher than the income from paid work. Social benefits received by the recipients of the RSA/API are on average 660 euros per member of the household: 45.5% get less than 600 euros, 32% get between 600 and 900 euros, 22.5% get more than 900 euros (see Avenel, 2009:33 and table A-25). In December 2008, 8.4% of the API recipients were concerned by a “making work pay” benefit (“un dispositif d’interessement”) compared to 13.1% of the RMI recipients and 20.5% of the ASS recipients (Drees, 2010). When summing up income from paid work and family benefits, the recipients of the RSA/API have on average a total income of 1048 euros per month for the whole family (Avenel, 2009, quoting the Preliminary report of the Haut Commissariat aux Solidarités actives). The “Allocation de solidarité spécifique » (ASS) In December 2008, 324,000 persons were recipients of the ASS. This mean tested allowance was created in 1984 for the long term unemployed who are no longer eligible to unemployment insurance benefits. The ASS is the main unemployment allowance provided by the solidarity regime that is funded by the state. To receive this allowance, one should effectively look for a job, have been working during at least five of the past ten years preceding the breaking of the work contract, and have an income under a certain ceiling9. The ASS is provided by the employment agency (pole emploi). Because of eligibility conditions, the majority of the recipients are older than 50 years of age (more than half of the recipients are older than 50). They are also more often men than women (54% 9
On the 1st of January 2010, the ceiling was 1059,80 euros per month for a single person and of 1665,40 euros for a couple.
against 46% of women). The ASS is provided for the long term unemployed: 76% have been registered as unemployed for more than two years and 61% for at least three years. The number of recipients has been decreasing since 1997. Among recipients of the ASS in 2006, 71% were parents living in couple households and 29% were lone parents, of whom 80.3% were women (Nicolas and Tomasini, 2008). The widows allowance (allocation veuvage) This allowance was created in 1980 for widowed parents who were not eligible to a survival pension (“pension de reversion”). This allowance ceased to exist after January 2011. The demand for this mean tested allowance has to be done before one is 55 years old. On the 1st of January 2010, the income ceiling to be eligible for this allowance was 706.41 euros per month. The amount of the allowance is 565.13 euros per month if one’s monthly income is lower than 141.28 euros. Recipients are mostly women (97%). 65% of the recipients are aged between 40-49 years. The number of recipients has been divided by four since 1999, from 21,000 recipients in 1998 to 5,100 recipients in 2008 (Drees, 2010). Housing benefits Housing is a serious problem for most lone parents. Only 28% of lone mothers own an apartment/house compared to 63% of couple families. More than 1 in 3 report living in social housing (habitation à loyer modéré – HLM). Their housing conditions are generally worse than that of other families: 20% live in houses/apartments that are too small (one or two more rooms would be necessary according to the usual ratio of space occupation). Only 36% of lone mothers live in a house compared to 68% of mothers in couple families. Lone mothers also have lower income than others and live more often in urban areas or in places where the price of housing (to rent or to buy) is higher. Lone fathers display a better situation: half of them own their apartment/house, and also, half of them live in a house. 17% of lone fathers and 9% of lone mothers live with other people in addition to their children (compared to 3% for couple families). Among these parents, 18% are under 30 years old; most of them live with their own children, in their parent’s home. In this case, the household is more often an owner and lives more often in a house. However the number of people living in the same house is high. Lone mothers and lone fathers who live with other people are more often than others without a job or face difficulties participating in the labour market (Chardon et al., 2008). Lone parent families represent 20% of the recipients of housings allowances (aides au logement). These allowances are notably important for lone parent families: they divide by 2 the effort that households should consent for their housing. Globally, 13 millions of individuals are eligible to these allowances, for 6 millions of recipients in 2008. These allowances are provided by the Caisses d’allocations familiales – CAF (Collinet & Salesse, 2010). Immigrants are overrepresented among welfare benefit recipients Immigrants from Africa are over represented among recipients of welfare benefits relative to their proportion in the population aged from 25 to 64 years. Immigrants from Africa take up a disproportionate percentage of the three social welfare benefits, the API, the ASS and the RMI (Gelot and Minni, 2009). They make up between 11% and 13% of the recipients, that is three times more than their share of the population aged from 25 to 64 years (see table A-27). Immigrant population from UE countries is not so much concerned by the RMI or the API related to their share of the
population aged 25 to 64 years, but this population is more represented among the ASS recipients that concern older unemployed people. However, more often than other recipients of social welfare benefits, immigrants and immigrant descendants sign a “contrat d’insertion”, thus indicating their willingness to work. Lone parents make up 14% of the households recipient of social assistance benefits although they make up only 6% of the overall households (see tables A-28, A-29 and A-30). After social transfers and tax benefits, the average income per consumer unit (UC) in lone parent households increases from 55% to 68% of the average income of the couple-households with children. Their monthly income increases from 988 euros to 1257 euros per consumer unit. With at least one child under 3 years old the average monthly income increases from 511 euros to 1065 euros per consumer unit (La lettre du Haut Conseil à la famille, juillet 2010). The social and family benefits play a major role in this trend: it is the case with the child benefits (allocations familiales) and the family supplement on one hand, and of the housing benefits on the other hand. Social and fiscal benefits targeted at lone parents play an important role but not as much as could be expected (notably the ASF- allocation de soutien familial (1,2 milliard euros), the specific tax regime (0,5 milliard euros) and the pensions (Orphan pension and “pension de reversion” in the public sector). Finally, the poverty rate of children living with a lone parent decreased by 40% with regard to the initial rate after social and tax transfers but it remains tree times higher than the poverty rate of children living in couple families (La lettre du haut Conseil de la Famille, n° 03, juillet 2010).
Labour market participation Lone parents with a low level of education and qualification only have access to poor jobs in the service sector or in care services that have developed over the last decades. These jobs are often part-time and have irregular working hours. Lone parents are also concentrated in short term contract jobs. They are concentrated in some sectors and occupations, in particular in female dominated ones. These poor working conditions explain why lone parent recipients of social benefits encounter difficulties in joining the labour force. It should be reminded however that most lone parents are in the labour force and live on their earnings (Mozere et al., 2009). Lone mothers are more often participating in the labour force than partnered mothers, but this gap between lone mothers and other mothers has been reduced since 1990 (Chardon and Daguet, 2008). Lone parents ‘participation in the labour force: a relatively high employment rate combined with a high unemployment rate In general, lone parents face a situation more fragile than couple families with regard to participation in the labour force. Indeed lone parents are more often than other parents to be at risk of unemployment. But lone mothers are less often than other mothers likely to stay home to care for their children (see table A-31). More than two lone mothers out of three (67.7%) are employed compared to 70.9% of mothers in “traditional” families and 66,4% of mothers in reconstituted families (see table A-31). But the unemployment rates are respectively 13.6%, 6.0% and 9.3% stressing the difficulties encountered by lone mothers in finding a job. Lone mothers are however less often non employed than mothers in couple families, respectively 18,8%, 23,0% and 24,4%.
Lone fathers have a higher employment rate than lone mothers but lower than men in couple families, whether “traditional“ or reconstituted. They have a lower unemployment rate than lone mothers but a higher unemployment rate than fathers in couple families. They are also more often not employed than other fathers. This situation can be explained by their, on average, being older than lone mothers. 90% of children were living in families with at least one parent participating in the labour force in 2005. This is the case for 94% of children living in a couple family but for only 66% of children living with a lone parent. However, if we refer to mothers, it appears that children living with a single mother slightly less often have a mother in the labour market than children living in couple families (63% and 68% respectively). The gap is broader for lone fathers: 81% and 90% respectively. Reasons for being non-employed differ, however: Children in lone parent families more frequently have a mother unemployed (20% compared to 10% for children living in couple families) and less frequently non-employed (16% and 23% respectively). However, despite the relatively high employment rate of lone parents, 30.5% of these families have no employed adult. Compared to 7.6% in reconstituted families and 4.7% in “traditional“ families in this situation, economic security is not ensured for a large number of lone parent families. The likeliness to be unemployed or non-employed is higher for uneducated and unqualified lone mothers (see Chardon & Vivas, 2009: p 40 and 41). Lone parents’ participation in the labour force is highly dependent on the age of children. Most lone mothers with young children are not working In France, the majority of lone mothers are not working when their children are young: only 40% of lone mothers with a child under three years old are employed (against 63% of mothers living in couple families); 55% of lone mothers with a child aged between 3 and 5 (completed) are employed (66% of mothers in couple families); 63% of lone mothers with a child aged between 6 and 10 (completed) are employed (70% of mothers in couple families), and 70% of lone mothers, either with a child aged between 11 and 14 (completed) or with a child aged between 15 and 17 (completed) are employed (similar proportion than mother in couple families), (see table A-32). The low employment rate of lone mothers with young children may be partly due to the incidence of the lone parent allowance provided to lone parents in situation of poverty, and especially considering its low incentive to work. This point was underlined by the experts interviewed for the Senat’s report in 2006, as also by Claude Martin (Martin, 1997; Sénat, 2006). The Sénat report suggested reforming the lone parent allowance in order to make it provoke a greater incentive to work. This was implemented in 2009 when the API merged into the RMI. But it may be due also to the low level of education of lone mothers compared to mothers living in couple families (38% of children in lone parent families live with a mother with a secondary education level (bac) compared to 50% of children who live with their two parents. The gap is particularly large for the youngest children. Only 34% of children under 6 year old living with a lone mother have a mother with a secondary degree compared to 59% of those who live in couple families. However, although the employment rate of lone mothers decreased from 61% to 52% between 1990 and 2000 (David et al. 2004), it has increased again during the last ten years despite increasing difficulties in the labour market. Employment disparities between lone mothers and mothers in couple families blur when children get older
The gap in employment rates between lone mothers and mothers in couple families reduces as far as the age of the child increases, therefore underlying the specific situation of children in lone parent families. Children under 3 years old who live with a lone father generally have a father who is less educated than the fathers of other children, but after the age of three the gap disappears (Chardon & Daguet, 2009). The low employment rate may be due also to specific difficulties encountered by lone mothers with regard to access to sustainable child care facilities (Eydoux et al., 2005). Nevertheless, the employment disparities between lone mothers and mothers in couple families progressively vanish when the age of children rises. A high incidence of mothers’ education level on labour force participation Children below pre-school age (that is 3 years in France) are more likely to have a non-employed mother than older children (39% compared to 43% for children aged 15-17). These contrasts are notably pronounced for children living with a lone mother: below 3 years old, 59% have a nonemployed mother and only 14% have a mother who is a professional or in a medium level occupation. Though, when the child reaches 10 years of age, there is no gap between these children and children living in couple families: 70% have a (lone) mother in employment and 25% have a mother who is professional or in medium level occupations. 42% of low educated lone mothers were employed in 2002 compared to 50% of mothers in couple families. By contrast, 84% of lone mothers with a high level of education were employed compared to 80.5% of couple family mothers with a similar level of education. Therefore, low educated lone parents are more likely to have precarious jobs that are difficult to reconcile with parental responsibilities, and/or to meet difficulties in job search. These lone mothers also have a lower potential for negotiating flexible working hours with their employers than mothers in couple families. The proportion of children living with two parents who are employed has increased over the last decade because of the increase in women’s labour force participation: 53% of eligible women were working in 2005 compared to 49% in 1999. By contrast, the proportion of children living in households with no parent working at all has not decreased since 1999, remaining one in ten households (Chardon & Daguet, 2009). Lone mothers’ employment rate also depends upon the reasons leading to lone parenthood. Separated or divorced lone mothers display higher employment rates than lone mothers who have never been partnered (Avenel, 2001). Part-time work Lone parents more often work full-time job than other parents (see tables A-33 and A-34). They are more likely to work part-time when they are in low qualified occupations.
What is the lone parents’ income made of? In the early 2000, 23% of parents in lone parent families, most often lone mothers, did not report any income from work, that was a lower proportion than for mothers living in couple families (31%) but higher than for couples with children (only 4.3% of couples with children reported no income from work). 60% of the income in lone mother families who are not participating in the labour force is made up of social transfers (welfare benefits): pensions make up 22% of the income, family and housing benefits made up 24.6% and welfare benefits made up 13.7% of the income (see table A-35).
Lone parent families with no income from work are often families with several children and/or families with young children: this was the case for 40% of lone parent families with 3 or more children and for 45% of families with one child less than 3 years old. However, compared to mothers in couple families, lone mothers have more often an income from work higher than two times the minimum wage (18.4% compared to 13%), therefore highlighting the diversity of lone parent families. However, when referring to the labor force participation of the two parents , 65.7% of couple families have an income higher than twice the minimum wage, whereas only 18.4% of lone parent families live on such an income from work (see table A-36) (Eydoux and Letablier, 2007).
3 Policies and political debate on the issue of lone parents Key question: How would you describe the policies and political debates on lone parents during the last 10-15 years? A relative consensus on policy support to lone parent families Lone parent issues have been in the political debates since the mid-seventies when the lone parent allowance (API) was created. At that time, the question for policymakers was how to support lone parents at risk of poverty. Debates were focused on poor lone parent families taking account of the changes in reasons leading to lone parenthood. The lone parent allowance was conceptualized as a “minima social” that is a social assistance benefit aimed at developing collective solidarity with lone parents at risk of poverty. The idea was to support the transition to lone parenthood for lone parents the more in need and for a limited period of time. During the 1980s and 1990s, policy interest for lone parent families increased: several working groups were created and reports were produced on the issue. The Family Fund Agency (caisse d’allocations familiales) appeared as a driver in this attention devoted to lone parents. Several special issues of the Journal Recherches et Prévisions were devoted to lone parent families. Debates mainly focused on two points: -
Limiting poverty and social exclusion risk of lone parents. Focus was therefore on support to access the labour market since work is considered as being the best protection against poverty and social exclusion. Labour force participation was seen as the best way to increase economic security and to limit the welfare dependency.
Implementing the parental responsibility of the other parent who is not living everyday with the children. The ASF (allocation de soutien familial) was created in the 1980s (replacing the orphan allowance) to support lone parents for whom alimony is not provided. Meanwhile, the family policy developed various forms of support to lone parents facing specific difficulties especially regarding access to the labour market. Over the last 15 years, lone parenthood has still been on the policy agenda, however the main focus has been on lone parents at risk of poverty and social exclusion. Lone parents as a whole are no longer a target for policies. Progressively poor lone parents have become included in the welfare policies and are no more treated separately, especially after the reform of the minimum income in 2009. So the focus over the last 15 years has been on three main points: -
On poverty risk and social exclusion of lone parents On parenthood after separation or divorce, especially on the other parent‘s responsibility, namely the father in most cases. The issue not only concerns alimony and participation to the maintenance of the child but also relationships with the other parent after separation. On access to the labour market given the fact that lone parents, especially lone mothers, have high unemployment rates, in particular those who have low qualification. (The issue of reconciliation between work and parental responsibilities was high on the agenda at that time.)
Lone parents as a target for social/family policies Lone parent families are not a target for policies. But lone parent families are more at risk of poverty than other families. So policies are concerned as far as lone parents are at risk of poverty, when alimony is not paid, and when the well-being of children is not insured. So, how to reduce the poverty risk is a major issue for family policy, as is how to reduce the risk of social exclusion. Policy measures combine two dimensions: social assistance by social transfers on one hand, and support to lone parents for accessing to the labour market and to social housing. Since 2007, the number of recipients of the API (and also the widowed allowance) has reduced, after a continuous growth lasting more than ten years. In 2007, 205,400 lone parents were recipients of the lone parent allowance, and 5,400 were recipients of the widowed allowance. The decrease results from policy decisions deciding that the API could only be provided to lone parents who had already claimed other social assistance benefits, like the ASF (family support allowance), the housing allowance, the unemployment insurance etc. (Mathern, 2009). The API becomes a subsidiary allowance that lone parents can be entitled to after having applied to other social assistance benefits. The API is provided only if the lone parent is no longer eligible for these benefits, or if these benefits are lower than the API. Since the 1st of July 2007, the amount of the API is reduced by the amount of the ASF if the lone parent has not applied for alimony recovery. But the reducing in the number of API recipients may also be attributed to the impact of the reform of the “dispositif d’intéressement”, the making work pay program, as for the RMI (minimum income). In fact, the number of lone parents eligible to “making work pay programs” has slightly increased. Parental relationships after separation or divorce of parents After divorce, children live with the mother in 77% of cases. After separation of cohabiting couples, children live with the mother in 84% of cases. Care by the father (either divorced or separated) increases with the age children: this is the case for 3% of children under three years old, 10% of children under six years and 18% of children aged between 17 to 24 years. Alternate residence is twice more common after parents divorce than after parents separate: this decision concerns 15% of cases after divorce and 6% of cases after separation. In addition to issues concerning alimony, the maintaining of the relationships between children and both parents is a big issue in public debates and in policies. Since lone parents are lone mothers in the majority of cases (more than 80%), the relationships of children with their fathers has often been discussed. The issue is not only a matter of alimony but also a psychological issue for children who need relationships with their two parents (Bloss, 2009). Debates are still open regarding the benefits of an alternate residence for children between fathers’ home and mothers’ home, but no clear conclusion has come yet (Neyrand, 2005). Lone parents’ organisations and their impact on public policy Family lobbies are very strong in France. They are assembled in a union that is the “Union nationale des associations familiales - UNAF”. This union was institutionalized in 1946 as an official partner of the government in family policy decisions. The union gathers a large diversity of family lobbies. The “Fédération syndicale des familles monoparentales“(Lone parents union) that was created in 1967 became a member of the union in the early 1970s. This was an important event because lone parent families were then recognized as “real families”. This union represents lone parent families and
defends their interest as families. The union gives opinions on the reforms that can affect lone parents. The union strongly supports the “mediation familiale” in case of separation or conflict after divorce, being also strongly attached to maintain the relationships between children and their fathers after separation. But it is probably on the Lone parent allowance reform that this organisation had its most important claim. In fact, the union considers that the lone parent allowance should not be viewed only a social welfare benefit (minima social) but as a family benefit supporting the parental role as well. It should be a sign of parental identity. The lone parent allowance should be seen as “supporting mothers and motherhood” and therefore should not be merged with the minimum income benefit that is for the poor. The union was strongly opposed to the merging of the API with the RMI, on the assumption that it is a family benefit and not a social benefit. Another association acting as lobby or special interest group for lone parents is the “Association syndicale des familles monoparentales et recomposées” that was created in 2003, replacing the “Association syndicale des femmes chef de famille” created in 1970 when families composed of a mother and her child/children were not considered as a family. This association was replaced in 1988 by the “Association syndicale des familles monoparentales”. The association is under the roof of the “Confédération syndicale des familles” that is a family based lobby devoted to consumption issues, housing, education, and culture and leisure issues. There are also lone fathers’ organizations that have come to be influential. Some of them were created in the 1970s and still are10. They campaign for rights to parenthood after separation or divorce, in the name of “justice” and “equality” between parents. The main assumption behind their claim for parental equality is that children should have the right to both parents. They consider the reforms concerning the share of the parental authority after separation and the reform of the alternate residence for children steps in the right direction but are still insufficient and incomplete because they do not take sufficient account of the interest of the child, in particular, the decision of the judge concerning where the child should live after the divorce of the parents. Current government key concerns with regard to lone parents The government’s current key concerns are firstly how to reduce poverty and social exclusion risk for lone parents, and secondly how to maintain parental relationships between children and the other parent. These two issues have been on the policy agenda for several decades and still are. More or less regularly, the government commands reports on lone parent families’ situation. The last one was produced by the Haut Conseil de la Famille in 2010. The focus was on the loneliness of both mothers and fathers after the breakdown of the family life (HCF, 2010). The relationship between a child and the parent he/she is not living with is an important issue. According to Vivas (2008) 68% of children and young adults under 25 years with divorced or separated parents live with their mother, 17% live with their father and 15% have their own apartment. Among these children and young adults, 15% rarely (never or only sometimes during the year) meet their mother compared to 40% who rarely meet their father. By contrast, 42% live with their father or meet him at least once a week and 77% live with their mother or meet her at least once a week (Vivas, 2008).
For instance : Association ‘Justice papa’, Association pour ‘l’égalité parentale’ ; Association ‘Au nom des pères’ ; ou Organisation des pères séparés en France.
4 Labour market (regulation) Key question: What have been trends and developments on the demand side of labour impacting on the prospects of lone parents to participate in the labour market and earn a decent wage? Lone parents have more difficulties than other parents participating in the labour force. This is shown by their high unemployment rates. Once again, one should underline the broad diversity among lone parent families, with respect to age, sex, level of education and qualification. Over the last three decades, lone parents have been encouraged to participate in the labour market, especially those who depend on social benefits for their income and are the most at risk of poverty, on the assumption that participation in the labour force is the best defence against poverty and social exclusion. The two major welfare benefits (minima sociaux) provided to poor lone parents are temporary (the API) or provisional (ASS), so the idea is to incite recipients to work. It is their duty in counterpart of the right to be supported by the society. Since the mid-seventies, e.g. the end of the “trente glorieuses” of the welfare system, work has become a major issue for policies (Bec, 2008). As Colette Bec puts it: “le travail se voit alors conférer un rôle exorbitant de facteur de bonheur individuel, de liberté et d’épanouissment personnel » (Bec, 2008 :15). The so called “politiques d’insertion” have then attempted to promote a new conceptualization of dignity. “Etablir ainsi une connexion entre l’assistance et l’emploi, c’est tenter de reconstruire, de refonder la balance des droits et des devoirs grâce à laquelle l’individu retrouvera une dignité perdue et donc un statut de citoyen» (Bec, 2008 :15). Dependency on welfare benefits became progressively a foil. Concepts of ‘autonomy’ and ‘self responsibility’ became the major reference concepts for policies: individuals receiving support should also take upon themselves to be autonomous. ‘Insertion’ policies have been developing over the last three decades, focussing on those people excluded from the labour market, not just young people who have displayed high unemployment rates during this period but also the long term unemployed. Although poor lone parents were not specifically targeted, they were included in these policies, notably from the 1990s onwards, when activation programs became more effective (Eydoux et Letablier, 2009). However, low qualified lone parents are offered poor jobs with poor pay and are often given atypical or part-time working hours. Lone parents are also overrepresented among poor workers (Chardon et al., 2008). Not only national policy but also local policies have attempted to improve employment and working conditions for lone parents. Lone parents’ work and employment conditions In 2008, 47.4% of women were working as “employees” (compared to 13.1% of men) and one on four was in a “profession intermédiaire” (25.4% compared to 22.7% of men). 13.4% of women were professionnals (“cadres et professions intellectuelles supérieures“) compared to 18.7% of men (Insee, enquêtes emploi 2008). So, one “profession intermediaire“ in two was covered by a woman and more than three in four “employés“ were women (76.4%). Women are however less represented among the professionnals (39%) and among “ouvriers” (18.7%) (see Table A-37). Women are highly concentrated in some occupations: more than 95% of the child minders are women (99.1%), as also the personal care workers (“aides à domicile et aides ménagères“ – 97.9%) and the “secrétaires (98%). 90.7% of the low qualified health care workers (“aides soignantes“) are also women, like 86.7% of nurses and midwifes. To sum up, 78.5% of working women were
concentrated in 12 occupations (INSEE, enquêtes emploi 2008). But the occupation in which there is the highest number of women employed is the “agents d’entretien” (cleaners) where 878,000 women are employed representing 7.2% of all employed women (see Table A-38). Since 1980, among employed women, the share of women working part-time has almost doubled, from 17.3% to 29.4% whereas the proportion of men working part time has increase from 2.5% to 5.8%. Most of the increase in women’s employment during the period of time 1983-2002 was due to part-time work. The proportion of women in the part-time work force has not changed since 2003 (about 82%). This slow down of the increase in part-time work may be an impact of the 35 hour-law (Marchand, 2010). But involuntary part-time work (“sous emploi“) is more often a matter of women than men, respectively 7.7% and 2.2% of women and men employed. More than one in ten women work in low qualified clerk occupations (employée) and one in ten women work a blue collar occupation. Most of the jobs that have been created over the past few decades have been in care services, especially in elderly care and in childcare, and also in the retail sector. Whereas 44% of children live with at least one parent who is a professional or in a “profession intermédiaire“, only 24% of children living in lone parent families (and 48% for children in couple families) are in this situation (Chardon & Daguet, 2009) . However, despite a legal and conventional policy focused on gender equality in occupations and earnings, gender inequalities still persist: the occupational segregation is still there, the glass ceiling has not disappeared, wage discriminations have not been eradicated and family and parental responsibilities still impact women (Conseil économique, social et environnemental, 2009). Lone mothers have been concerned by the development of part-time jobs, most of these jobs being imposed on them, often with irregular working hours that are difficult to combine with parental responsibilities (Eydoux and al., 2007). Among reforms that are assumed to have had an impact on the development of involuntary parttime work in low qualified jobs is the “allégements de charges sociales” for employers who employ part-time workers in low qualified jobs. This reform went into effect at the beginning of the 1990. The reform aimed at encouraging the development of “emplois de proximité” so to decrease the unemployment rate that has been almost constantly high in France since the mid-eighties. In addition, the policy support to the development of jobs in the care services, especially in the elderly care sector, may have contributed to the development of poor jobs for low qualified women. Also, policy support to families as employers (through tax relieves) has contributed to the development of jobs in housekeeping and cleaning. Part-time work The proportion of women working part-time has increased from 17.3% in 1980 to 29.8% in 2000. Women represent 82.3% of the part-time work force and 40.2% of the full time work force (see table A-39). Part of this part-time is involuntary, being due to the lack of full time jobs, so 7,7% of women are underemployed (2.2% of men), but they re 11% in this situation among “employés” and 10.4% among labourers. When they are employed, lone mothers are more often than other mothers working full time (see table A-40). But like other mothers, those who work part time are more often working low qualified
jobs, probably occupations where part-time work is imposed. They may not have any choice regarding their working part-time or full-time. But, by contrast with Germany for instance, all parttime jobs (in principle) provide social benefits entitlements. The issue of “mini jobs” is not discussed in France, but rather, it is the fact that part-time work may be involuntary, which is the problem since it is a form of precariousness and a source of economic insecurity. In France, the likeliness of a lone parent working full time increases with the age of their children. The proportion of non working lone parents notably reduces when the last child reaches the age of three, that is the age of attending pre-school. The proportion decreases form 52 to 31%. Part-time work is more common when the child is between 3 and 5 years old (one fourth of lone parents work part time when they have a child between 3 and 5). About 20% of lone parents continue working part-time when the last child is over 6 years old. But we are not able to say whether part time work is voluntary or not (Moeneclaey 2009). So, only 28% of lone mothers work part time compared to 38% of mothers living in “traditional” families. Like mothers in couple families, part-time lone mothers are concentrated in low qualified jobs (see table A-34). They are more likely to work part-time when they have several children: with 3 children or more, 40.2% of lone mothers and 47% of mothers in couple families work part-time compared to respectively 22.9% and 26.5% for mothers with one child (table A-32). Very short part-time work is not widespread in France: Only 4.8% of all employed women work less than 15 hours per week, while 16.2% work between 16 and 29 hours and 8.7% have long part-time hours (30 hours and more per week) (see table A-40). The overall proportion of part-time work in the labour force has not increased substantially over the last fifteen years, with women working part-time remaining around 30%. In 2004, 3.6% of lone mothers worked less than 15 hours per week compared to 4.6% of mothers in couple families; 12.8% worked between 15 and 29 hours compared to 19.1% of mothers in couple and 8.6% had a part-time job comprised between 30 and 35 hours (compared to 12%). Finally, 25% of lone mothers worked part-time compared to 35.8% of mothers in couple families (Eydoux et Letablier, 2007). Employment status In France, almost 80% (79.9%) of all wage earning women have a long term work contract (see table A-41) whereas 10.7% have a short term contract compared to 5.9% of men, 1.1% are agency workers (2.1% of men) and 0.9% are in an apprenticeship (1.8% of men). In 2004, only 4.4% of working lone mothers were self employed compared to 8.1% of mothers in couple families. 66% of employed lone mothers and 72.2% of employed lone fathers were working in the private sector, and, respectively, 29.6% and 14.9% in the public sector. Lone mothers are more likely than mothers in couple families to work in the public sector. Compared to women in couple families, lone mothers were more likely to be in precarious forms of employment: in the private sector, 6% (against 4.5% of mothers in couple) had a temporary work contract, 1.8% had a “subsidized” job, 1.4% were agency workers. In the public sector, 2.5% had a temporary work contract (Eydoux and Letablier, 2007).
Finally, only half of lone mothers have a full time job, though the lone mother’s household generally relies mainly on the lone mother’s earnings. Therefore, the issue of participation in the labour force is one of the major issues for employment policies. Part-time work has been encouraged by various ways. First of all, it was encouraged in the 1980s as a mean of sharing work in a context of high unemployment (Boisard and al., 1985). Then it was encouraged by alleviating employers’ social contributions on part-time work in order to stimulate the hiring of part-timers in the 1990s. Finally, in the last decade, part-time work was encouraged as a mean of maintaining the links with employment for low qualified workers who otherwise would have withdrawn from the work force. So, the reform of the childcare benefits in 2004 encouraged the taking up of the parental leave allowance on a part-time base in order to maintain links with the workplace. Part-time parental leave was encouraged. Low wage workers Low wage workers are defined as workers earning less than 2/3rds the median wage, and very low wage workers are those earning lower than half the median wage. Low wage workers represented 16.6% of the wage workers in 2001, and very low wage workers were 9.4% of the wage workers. Almost 80% of low wage workers are women, most of them are working part-time in low paid jobs, especially in hotels and restaurants. A large part of these low wage workers are immigrant women, working part-time and with atypical hours (Cereq, 2007). Policies aimed at increasing lone parents ‘participation in the labour force Lone parents have more difficulties than other parents to participate in the labour force and to access to a decent housing (Chardon et al., 2008). Labour force participation has always been viewed as the best way of escaping poverty, including for lone parents. In general, lone mothers are more often than mothers living in couple families participating in the labour force but they are also more at risk of being unemployed. However the risk of being unemployed differ according to the age and the reason for being a lone parent. Widowed lone parents are less at risk of poverty than others because more often than others they own their apartment. Separated or divorced lone parents are often participating in the labour force. Single (never partnered) lone mothers are the most at risk of poverty, being also more often unemployed or non-employed, notably those mothers who had their children early in age. However, the phenomenon of early pregnancies is not so much developed in France, compared to some other countries. In addition, the number of early pregnancies is decreasing continuously (Daguerre and Nativel, 2004). So, since the early 1980s, several measures were adopted to improve access to the labour market. In 1998, the “making work pay” system of the recipients of the minimum income (RMI) was extended to the recipients of the lone parent allowance recipients (cf. Aubry laws) in order to make their participation in the labour force more attractive. In 2000, a specific allowance (Aide au retour à l’emploi des femmes - ARAF) paid by the unemployment insurance was created to support the return of women in the labour market. This allowance was replaced in 2008 by a child care allowance for lone parents returning in the labour force (Aide à la garde d’enfants pour les parents isolés- AGEPI). This allowance which is paid by the unemployment insurance system and not by the family policy is a support targeting lone parents living on social welfare who return into the labour market or to training. The support aims at covering part of the costs of childcare due to the return to work. Are eligible to this benefit the unemployed lone parents who do not receive any unemployment
insurance allowance or receiving one of the social benefits (RSA, ASS or AAH), and who have dependent children under ten years old. The amount of the AGEPI is: -
400 euros for one child (plus 60 euros for each additional child, up to 520 euros) for lone parents who return to work or in training for more than 15 hours a week (until 35 hours)
170 euros for one child, 195 euros for two children and 220 euros for three or more children if the time devoted to work or to training is lower than 15 hours a week or 64 hours per month.
This support to lone parent returners can only be provided once during one year. In 2009, the lone parent allowance merged with the newly created minimum income – RSA. The making work pay incentives (intéressement) were reinforced, as also measures aimed at facilitating the job search (“accompagnement”). Activation measures have also been introduced in the family policy measures. Although these measures are not precisely targeted on lone parents, they may have an impact on their employment behavior. The reform of the childcare benefit system in 2004 and the implementation of the PAJE (prestations d’accueil des jeunes enfants) tried to maintain the links with the labour market, either by encouraging part-time parental leave so to keep the links with work, or by offering specific parental leave conditions to mothers with three or more children, also in order to facilitate their maintaining into the workforce or giving new incentives to return quickly to work. (see: the COLCAComplement optionnel de libre choix d’activité, that was created in 2006). All these measures are not specifically targeted on lone parents but they include them into the activation policies, so as to stimulate their participation in the labour force on the assumption that work is the best rampart against poverty and welfare dependency. There is a large consensus among policy makers and trade unions regarding the importance of being in the labour market, for lone parents especially. This policy orientation is not a controversial issue. What is being discussed is the quality of jobs that lone mothers are offered and the poor working conditions they have when they have low qualification, making it hard to reconcile work and parental responsibilities.
5 Tax and benefit system Key question: What have been major changes in the tax and benefit system during the last 10-15 years impacting on a) the financial well-being and b) financial incentives to take up paid work for lone parents? The loneliness situation is taken into account in the French tax system, as also in the family benefit system for mean tested benefits. Some mean tested benefits have a different ceiling for lone parents and couple families. In addition, the calculation of the housing allowance takes also account of the loneliness situation. In the calculation of the income tax, lone parents benefit from an additional share (up to a maximum income of 3980 euros). Alimony does not change this right that is linked to being a lone parent. This measure benefits to lone parents with the highest income. This has not changed over the last decades. What has been changing however, is the value of the API, that has progressively decreased (see table A-24) Since the beginning of the decade 2000, several reforms have been set up to foster the childcare parental choice and to adapt the supply of childcare to parents’ needs. Reforms used to be announced during the “Conférence de la famille “11. Restructuring the childcare benefit system: setting up the PAJE (Prestation d’accueil du jeune enfant) The PAJE is an attempt to restructure the childcare provisions package. The PAJE includes a socle (a mean tested allowance including a birth premium and a basic allowance) and a “complement de libre choix” namely allowances aimed at compensating the costs of childcare, either for parents caring themselves for their children (a parental rearing allowance replacing the APE-allocation parentale d’éducation) or for parents paying somebody for care (replacing both the Aide pour l’emploi d’une assistante maternelle agree – AFEAMA, or the allocation de garde d’enfant à domicile – AGED). So, the “complement de libre choix” may be a childcare allowance (complement mode de garde-CMG) provided to parents who employ a registered childminder or a family employee at home, or a parental leave allowance (complement libre choix d’activité – CLCA) which is provided to parents who interrupt their career until their child is three years old. Only parents who have a second child (or more children) are eligible to the CLCA. Parents of a first child are eligible to an allowance only during six months following childbirth. One major objective of the PAJE was to improve parents’ solvability. With regard to previous measures, some allowances have been revaluated (the basic allowance and the CLCA at part-time) and some ceilings have been raised (birth premium, basic allowance and CMG). Although the rhetoric of the “liberty of choice” for parents is still there, the issue was to encourage parents to take up a part-time parental rearing allowance (CLCA) while working part-time therefore limiting the difficulties in returning to work. Another issue was to increase childcare by a childminder by reducing the costs for parents. The launching of the COLCA (Complement optionnel de libre choix d’activité) in 2006 for parents of a third child (or more) aimed at maintaining the links with employment and/or at limiting the time devoted to parental leave.
The „Conférences de la famille“ used to take place every year until the last one in 2006. Dunring the conference, the Prime Minister and the Minister in charge of Family affairs announced the reforms to be launched during the next year, as also the new issues on the policy agenda (For information on the family conferences, see: Buttner et al., 2002).
Tax reforms Tax reforms have also been implemented in order to encourage parents to rely on formal paid childcare. The 2005 and 2006 “lois de Finances” transformed the former tax reduction for external childcare into a tax credit, thus increasing the tax credit from 25% to 50%. So part of the childcare costs can be deducted from the income tax. And if the tax credit is higher than the tax itself, parents can be reimbursed for the difference. The 2006 law also raised the ceiling of the tax reduction for parents hiring an employee at home to care for their children (from 10,000 to 12,000 euros per fiscal unit). Measures targeting the childcare supply Meanwhile, several measures targeting the childcare supply have been implemented. The childminder’s work status has been improved by the 2005 law (27, June), in particular by creating a work contract with parents notifying hours of care, wage and leave conditions. In addition, in 2002 was created the “Prestation de service unique-PSU” for softening childcare rules in collective structures, in particular by combining different collective childcare structure on the same place (regular care in the crèches, temporary care in kindergardens and day care centres). Reforms in the childcare policy have contributed to develop formal childcare services while improving the quality of these services by making them more flexible and better adapted to the working parents’ needs (Baileau, 2008). We have seen (infra) that children are less often cared for by their parents, and more often by a childminder. However, it is above all among the 60% of households with the higher income that recourse to external childcare has increased. The recourse to a childminder has increased for all families whatever their income and relatively more for medium income families, although these families rely less than higher income families on this childcare. Only 8% of lone parents rely on a childminder for caring their children less than three years old compared to 19% for parents living as a couple. The creation of the RSA (revenu de solidarité active) The main change in the benefit system has been the merging of the API into the RSA in 2009. This reform has been the major reform of the social benefits over the last decade (this reform will be described in the next chapter). The restructuring of the minimum income provision musters together recipients of the lone parent allowance (API) and recipients of the minimum income (RMI) who are now recipients of the basic minimum income (RSA “socle”) with an additional sum for those who were previously recipients of the API. In 2008, 26% of the RMI recipients were lone parents (35% in the overseas regions), that is 287,000 recipients with 520,000 dependent children under 25 years. In addition, 199,500 families with 345,000 children were recipients of the lone parent allowance of whom 84% were recipients of a “long” API, that is with a child under 3 years old. 98.3% of the API recipients or of lone parents recipients of the RMI are women. Recipients of the lone parent allowance are relatively young: 38% were younger than 25 years of age. And half of the recipients of the API “long” (mothers with young children) were younger than 26 years of age. Only 10% were 40 years old and more. In addition, the API recipients have more
children than lone parents on average: 26% of the recipients of a “short” API and 23% of a “long” API had at least three children compared to 14% of all lone parent families. Lone parents working and receiving minimum income benefits In December 2009, 574,000 lone parent families were recipients of the RSA in metropolitan France. That is one third of the recipients of the RSA: 65% are recipients of the “RSA socle”, 25% of the RSA “activité” and 10% of the RSA “socle et activité”. This indicates that about 35% of lone parents recipients of the RSA were working. It is not possible to say if this number has increased or not given the reforms of the benefit system. In 2006, according to the labour force survey, half of the recipients of the API declared themselves as being non employed, whereas 40% were employed at the time of the survey and 10% were unemployed (Gelot and Minni, 2009). Lone parents getting out from the API and the RMI After the eligibility to the API is over, one third of the recipients became recipients of the RMI, and more than a half had been eligible to the RMI sometime during the two years following the end of the API. The main reason for getting out of the API is the end of the eligibility period. A change in the family situation (a new couple) concerns only 20% of the API leavers. Only 13% of the API leavers went to work (Drees, enquête sur les sortants des minima sociaux, 2006). In 2008 onwards, only 8.6% were recipients of a “making work pay” measure (mesure d’intéressement) or of a help for returning to work (retour à l’emploi). Four main reasons may explain the low percentage of recipients returning to work: -
The low qualification of the recipients: this reason is particularly penalising in a context of difficult labour market
The low quality of procedures of social and job search “accompagnement”: The social accompaniment is irregular (this is confirmed by the fact that half of the API recipients report to have had difficulties in their job search).
A fainting in the implementation of the law creating the RMI. The law said that insertion measures for the RMI recipients (notably the access to “employs aidés”) were accessible to API recipients, but this point has never been implemented (HCF, 2010: p. 8).
Difficulties in accessing to childcare facilities. This reason is very often reported by the API “long” recipients (65%). This reason comes in third rank for the API “short” recipients (42%), after difficulties with transports (51%) and costs of transportation (43%). However, we do not know precisely what behind “childcare difficulties” is: does it mean no childcare avalaible, or too expensive children facilities, or reluctance towards childcare?
The poor quality of jobs that are offered: 78% of the jobs are low qualified jobs in services, mainly in care and personal services, and 18% are low qualified jobs in the manufacturing industry. Most of them are part-time jobs (half of the jobs offered) and for 81% of them, parttime is imposed by the employer.
Among lone parents who leaved the RMI in 2001, 33% went to work, 38% were looking for a job, and 29% did not search a job two years later. Reasons for not searching for a job were health problems (42%), family and childcare reasons (34%) and the availability of decent jobs with respect to
employment status, working conditions and wage, and difficulties with transport. 80% of jobs were part-time jobs, most of these jobs were imposed part-time (Eydoux et al., Observatoire de la pauvreté et de l’exclusion sociale). In 2008, 6.9% of lone parent families were recipient of a “making work pay” measure (compared to 6.5% of all the RMI recipients). More often than other recipients they received help from a “referent” or signed a “contrat d’insertion” or participated in training programs. Both “making work pay” measures and support to job search have been reinforced with the new RSA. The 2006 Drees survey12 on “parcours d’insertion” provides an assessment of the impact of “accompagnement” on employment rate. According to the survey, 23% of the welfare benefits recipients with no accompagnement were employed compared to 29% for those having received at least three types of accompagnement, 30% for those who received a job search support, 30% for those who were accompanied by a referent, and 29% for those who had signed a “contrat d’insertion” (Gélot and Minni, 2009)13.
For the Ministry of social affairs, employment and health
In 2006, 60% of the RMI recipients were accompanied by a « référent », 64% had signed a « contrat d’insertion » and 76% benefited from at least one of the support measures.
6 Family policies and family related services and regulations Key question: To what extent and how do family policies and family related services (child care) as well as employers strategies enhance or hamper the reconciliation of work and family life for lone parents? How has that changed over the last 10-15 years? Over the last ten years, policies aimed at reconciling work and family life have continued to develop for all parents. Focus has been mainly on support for childcare development. Working time policies, that had been implemented in the 1990s, with the laws reducing working time and developing flexible working arrangements, have not been pursued after the return of the right at the government in 2002. On the contrary, the current government has developed another policy aimed at “travailler plus pour gangner plus”, that is: working longer to earn more. However, over the last 10-15 years, childcare facilities have developed. Not only has the supply of childcare facilities increased but also the quality of the facilities has improved, if we mean by quality the broadening of childcare possibilities with respect to working hours of childcare and the diversification of forms of childcare. In these changing childcare facilities, the specific difficulties of lone parents have been taken into account, not only at a national level but also at a local level by municipalities or local authorities. This attention to lone parents’ needs is connected with employment activation measures. Child care policies Among the reasons given by lone parents for not searching a job or refusing a job opportunity, the presence of children is often mentioned (Nicolas and Tomasini, 2008). Child benefits are however a major support for working parents, or for parents on training. -
The basic allowance of the childcare benefit package (Prestation d’accueil du jeune enfant – Paje) represent however a financial support for maintenance and education of children less than three years old. The additional allowances aimed at supporting the care of children less than six years old either by a parent or by a childminder are a major support for working parents.
The “complement mode de garde” that is a childcare allowance is provided monthly to working parents who rely on a childminder or on an employee at home. But, according to the 2006 “parcours d’insertion” survey , a very limited proportion of welfare benefits recipients takes up this allowance : only 2% of the API recipients with a child less than three years received this allowance (source: Cnaf, FIlEAS). This percentage decreases to 0.5% for the RMI recipient with children less than three years old, whereas this allowance covers ¼ of the family benefit recipients with a child less than three years. This low take up may be explained by the fact that children are cared for at home by the parents themselves or by the cost of a childminder, or because they are cared for in a collective structure. Among the welfare benefits recipients with children less than three years old who are employed, only 3% take up this childcare allowance (Pla, 2007).
The “complement libre choix d’activité” (CLCA) is an allowance provided to parents who reduce or interrupt their paid work to care for their young children. Entitlement to this allowance is conditioned by previous employment requirements that recipients of welfare benefits rarely filled up given their erratic employment trajectories and their age. So, 93% of the API recipients and 95% of the RMI recipients did not get this allowance in 2006 (Nicolas and Tomasini, 2008).
But 13% of the ASS recipients received this parental leave allowance, indicating that these recipients were slightly less far from the labour market than other recipients. Finally, legal benefits aimed at supporting the reconciliation between work and parental responsibilities are marginal for the parents receiving welfare benefits. There are however other financial supports they can get from the municipalities and from the caritative organizations (ONG). For instance the “Mairie de Paris” provides lone parent families with a special childcare allowance in addition to the allowances provided by the Cnaf. It should be noted however that only 7% of parents that are recipients of the RMI, API or ASS say that support provided for childcare is a priority for them (Nicolas and Tomasini, 2008). The two forms of support that are the more often quoted are: support to housing (21%) and financial support for paying housing expenditures (renting, water, gas, electricity) (21%). The parental leave, and the parental leave allowance, has not been restructured as radically as it has been in Germany for instance. The reform of the Paje (prestation d’accueil du jeune enfant) in 2004 was not a radical change: the duration of the parental leave benefit is still three years despite the introduction of some flexible arrangements (especially for parents with at least three children who are eligible for a shorter but better paid parental leave in order to encourage their return to employment); the payment of the parental leave is still a flat rate allowance and not a replacement wage. And fathers are not especially encouraged to take up part of the parental leave. Only, some arrangements have been done in order to facilitate the return to work, for instance part-time parental leave was encouraged. With respect to childcare development, three measures have been implemented. First, a new form of childcare has been experimented and then developed, the “jardins d’accueil” for children aged from 2 to 3 or 4. These jardins d’accueil are for children before they enter pre-school (écoles maternelles). They are childcare services implemented by the family policy (and not by the minister of education like the écoles maternelles). By contrast with the “crèches” (collective childcare services for the 3 months- 3 years old children), the jardins d’accueil have a lower ratio of personnel. Second, the “relais assistantes maternelles” has developed. Childminders are the main form of childcare for young children in France. The development of this form of childcare has been supported by the family policy now for about twenty years, by tax deductions, exemption of social contributions on the wage paid to the childminder and by the child care allowance of the Paje (complement mode de garde). The number of childminders has been growing continuously over the last three decades (Letablier and Fagnani, 2009). Enterprises have been encouraged to develop childcare facilities or to contribute to the supply of childcare services. Since 2004, enterprises supporting childcare facilities for their employees are eligible for tax deductions. Although the outcomes are limited so far, this measure is an incentive for employers to support parenthood and childcare (Daune-Richard and Letablier, 2011). The main goals currently pursued by politics are to improve the supply of childcare for working parents as also for parents who want to work. Despite the relatively good childcare system and preschool system in France, all the needs are not covered for children less than three years old. Although the policy frame is the liberty of choice for parents, the choice refers more and more to the form of childcare either in a collective service or by a childminder, and less to the choice for parents/mothers to work or to care. In fact, French childcare policy has not changed so much. It has developed to respond to the demand for childcare, and also to the demand for more flexible childcare arrangements with respect to hours of work, in order to be more adapted to parents’
working hours. There is probably a standard employment model or norm guiding family policy, but the old norm is eroding. The implicit norm was that children under three could be cared for by their mother; this “norm” underlines the pattern of the parental leave and parental leave allowance. The age of three is the age of transition from parents/mothers care to pre-school and early education. Early education and collective socialisation are two major fundamental norms in France, linked to the Republican ideal of equal opportunities for all children on one side and of education as a shared responsibility between the state and the parents (Letablier and Jonsson, 2003). This norm applies also to lone mothers: the API ‘longue’ was provided until the child was three years old. Then after the child is three years old, the mother can return to work (Eydoux and Letablier, 2009). Conditions of eligibility of the parental leave and parental leave allowance include working conditions previously to the leave, so, the norm of employment for mothers was strong in France. However, the reform in 1993 of conditions of eligibility, making parents of a second child eligible for the parental leave allowance resulted in a decrease in the activity rate of mothers of two children, and especially mothers with low quality jobs and low wages, therefore creating a division between women. During the 2000 decade, focus has been on the return to work and also on the keeping of the links between parents and employers during the leave. Access to external care services So far, there is no guaranteed access to external childcare services, or to pre-school. The issue was recently on the agenda. A report (Voisin, 2009) suggested to create a “droit opposable” that is a guaranteed access to services, but the law did not pass. However, although pre-school is not compulsory, almost all children from 3 to 6 are attending pre-school. There are no specific legal regulations for lone parents, but they have often a priority of access to collective childcare services, that are the less expensive childcare services for low income parents. In 2007, there were about 10,000 collective childcare collective structures in metropolitan France: collectives “crèches”, day care centres, kindergardens, and “multi-accueil” structures (combining various forms of childcare in the same place). The supply of collective childcare increases continuously, due mainly to the growing number of “multi-accueil” structures which represent now more than half of the total capacity of childcare structures (établissements d’accueil des jeunes enfants- EAJE). However, there are geographical variations in childcare supply of collective childcare: collective childcare supply is higher in the Paris region and in the south East of France than in other regions where childcare is in majority preformed by childminders (Baileau, 2009). In January 2008, there were 2.4 millions of children in metropolitan France who were less than three years old and the same number of children aged from 3 to 6 years. The older children attend school (école maternelle) during most of the day. Parents are the primary carers for children after school hours. On Wednesday, ¾ of children aged 3 to 6 spend most of the day with one of their parents; on the other days in the week between 16:30 and 19:00, 83% of children are cared by their parents. Children less than 3 years old are mainly cared for by their parents: 63% spend most of the week time with their parents. Apart from parents, 18% of these children are cared for by a registered childminder, and 10% are cared for in a collective childcare structure (Ananian and Robert-Bobée, 2009; and table A-42). For the youngest children, childcare by parents is completed by childcare by the grand-parents, and also by a childminder (source: enquête garde des jeunes enfants, Drees, 2007).
Between 2002 and 2007 (according to the dates of the two surveys on childcare – Mode de garde et d’accueil des jeunes enfants, carried out by the minister of social affairs), childcare by parents has decreased (67,1 %) especially for parents with the highest income whereas other forms of childcare have increased, and notably childcare by childminders (table A-43). On average, children less than 3 years old spend 36:52 hours a week from Monday to Friday with a childminder and 38:14 in a crèche (see table A-44). Actually, hours of childcare are rather similar whatever a childminder or a collective childcare structure (Nicolas and Boyer, 2010). However, children who are cared for out of home for longer hours are cared by a childminder. Hours of beginning and end of childcare are also very similar for the two forms of childcare: on average, children arrive at 8:25 in the morning and leave between 5:15 and 5/30 PM (Nicolas and Boyer, 2010). Hours of arriving and departure show little variations from one day to another. Only 1% of children arrive early (between 6:45 and 7:00 AM) either to the childminder’s home or to the crèche. There is in fact certain homogeneity in childcare hours that may result from the “professionnalisation” process of the childminders. So far, childminders work was characterized by the frequency of atypical and irregular working hours (Algava and Ruault, 2003). This change in childminders working conditions echoes studies on childminders ‘work (Alberola, 2009) suggesting that childminders are now in capability of bargaining their working conditions with the parents, not to say in capacity of imposing their working hours (Nicolas and Boyer, 2010). Most parents who rely on a childminder or on a collective structure for their young children have regular working hours: 18.9% of mothers who rely on a childminder and 25.9% of mothers who rely on a collective structure are professionals or in high qualified occupations. But parents with irregular or atypical working hours, or working on Saturdays rely more often on a childminder. Lone parents care themselves for their children under three years old more often than parents in couple (71% against 62%). But when they do not care themselves for their children, they rely less on a childminder than parents in couple (8% against 19%) but more on a collective structure (13% against 10%) (Table A-42). On Wednesday, children from 3 to 6 years old do not attend school: 73% of these children are cared for by their parents and 11% by their grandparents or another family member whereas 7% are participating in activities provided by a leisure centre, a “centre aéré” or in cultural or other sportive activities. 5% are cared for by a childminder and 5% by a babysitter or some other informal carer (Annanian and Robert-Bobée, 2009). Apart from Wednesday, a large majority of pre-school age children (3 to 6) are cared for by their parents after school hours (between 16:30 and 19:00): this is the case for 83% of children whereas 5% are cared for their grandparents or another family member, 7% attend a “garderie” on the school ground. Availability and costs The availability of childcare infrastructures is not easy to assess. For pre-school age children (3 to 6), there is no problem of availability: they are “écoles maternelles” now in all municipalities all over France (and in overseas regions). The “écoles maternelles” are ruled like other schools, e.g. from 8:30 to 4:30, generally with a possibility for children to have a hot lunch at the school place while being minded by employees paid by the municipality. So, children do not have to go home at lunch time. After school hours care is also often provided, at least in cities and towns, at school until 6:00 or 6:30. Some schools also open their doors earlier before school begins. After school hours care is provided also by municipalities. Parents have to pay for it, according to their income. Care after school hours can also be provided by a registered childminder who cares for the child at her home.
Parents are eligible for a childcare allowance provided by the Cnaf, therefore reducing the costs of childcare for parents. There is no school on Wednesday, but some municipalities, especially in large cities, provide childcare services or activities, and also during holidays. The situation differs for children under three years old. The regulation of childcare supply is done by a variety of services and forms of childcare. Although most parents would like their child being cared for in a collective structure (a crèche) because of the quality of care, they cannot find a place, so they come to a registered childminder “faute de mieux”. Some parents may also prefer a childminder because of the family-friendly environment and because of the possibility to negotiate care hours. The working conditions of childminders have improved over the last decades: they have now a work contract with the parents, and their working conditions have also improved with the development of the “relais assistants maternelles” that are places where they can meet with other childminders and other children in the presence of a qualified assistant. So, childcare patterns differ over the territory: childminders are numerous in the west of France whereas collective structures are more concentrated in the Paris region and in the south of France. Anyway, it is always a “parcours du combattant” to find a childcare solution after the end of the maternity leave when the mother is returning to work. In fact, most mothers return to work after the maternity leave that is when the child is about three months old. The rest takes up a parental leave if they are eligible for it, notably according to the working conditions prior to childbirth. In principle, lone parents do not meet specific problems with childcare services. However, lone parents who are engaged in precarious employment can have difficulties to get a parental leave because of the conditions of eligibility (e.g. having being working at least two years before the childbirth). Lone parents looking for work often report difficulties to find a childcare for their young children at a reasonable price. Although the costs of a childminder have been reduced through family policy support, the costs are often still too high for a lone parent in precarious employment, even despite specific support to lone parents who want to work provided by some municipalities. Most of the “écoles maternelles” being public schools are free of charge for parents. Parents have only to pay for after school hours and care during the holidays. They pay to the municipalities if their children are cared for in collective services, according to the household income. Parents who rely on a registered childminder may be eligible for support from the family policy. There are no specific regulations for lone parents: they pay according to their income. But poor lone parents may receive some support from caritative organizations or from the social services of the municipalities. Employers’ strategies Given the development of the family policy and the childcare policy, employers have not been concerned by childcare issues or by reconciliation measures, all these issues being considered as family policy affairs. However, things have changed as far as more and more women participated in the labour force. The reconciliation between work and family life has become a major issue for family policy in the 1970s in a context where part-time work was not considered as a “good” solution for reconciling work and care. So employers have been involved in this issue, firstly through the working time issue, and secondly through their implication in the development of childcare services. The legal reduction of working time to 35 hours a week was a first step towards an implication of companies into the work life balance issue. Although the main objective was to share work by reducing working time, and secondly to stimulate the collective bargaining on working arrangements and flexibility, another objective was to reduce working time for all workers in order to give them more time to
care. Although results of the laws have been mitigated on this issue (Fagnani and Letablier, 2003), the reform has undoubtedly contributed to limit the extension of women’s part-time work. However, although the laws are still in place, the regulations of working time have been changing over the recent years with various attempts from the current government in favour of longer working hours. In 2004, incentives were given to companies for contributing to the development of childcare services in their own enterprise or in partnership with other partners such as the Caisses d’allocations familiales or the municipalities. Companies can participate in “contrats enfance jeunesse” to develop such services, and being eligible for tax deductions for this participation (Eydoux et al., 2008 and 2009). During the 2000 decade, support to parenthood has been an issue for the enterprises. The “Observatoire pour la responsabilité sociale des enterprises” that was created in the beginning of the 2000s has progressively included this issue on its agenda. This Observatory is currently focusing on the implication of fathers into parental responsibilities, highlighting the role of the enterprises in supporting fatherhood in every life. Later in the decade an “Observatoire de la parentalité en enterprise” was created to promote good practices and to stimulate the collective bargaining on this issue. The “label” on gender equality in enterprises also includes a pillar on support to parenthood. At last, a “charte de la parentalité” was created to promote the best practices of some enterprises. These developments indicate that a new climate is being created in enterprises around work-life balance issues (Letablier and Klammer, 2007). However, despite these stimulations for securing more ‘family friendly’ working patterns, employers’ strategies enhancing the reconciliation of work and family life have a limited impact so far (Pailhé and Solaz, 2009).
7 Active labour market policies Key question: How have active labour market policies and programs targeted lone parents and what results did they produce? Who has benefited from the reforms and who has fared less well? Active labour market policies did not specifically target lone parents, but rather young people, longterm unemployed or older workers. For almost three decades, the ‘politiques d’insertion’ has focused preferably on the young unemployed. As mentioned above, lone parents do not constitute a homogeneous group, especially with regard to employment behaviour. A majority of lone parents are participating in the labour force. However, lone parents are more often unemployed than couple parents, and also more at risk of poverty. Lone parents and especially lone mothers’ recipients of the lone parent allowance have not been “activated” until the 1990 onwards when “accompagnement” programs for the RMI recipients were extended to lone parents’ recipients of the lone parent allowance. Previously, lone parents were mentioned as targets of activation programs but were not actively pushed to work. But progressively, the lone parent allowance has lost its value relatively to the minimum wage for instance, therefore weakening its capacity to pay for care. Finally in 2008, the lone parent allowance merged with the minimum income maintenance (RMI) into the new minimum income maintenance (RSA), resulting in a reinforcement of activation programmes. The French social protection system Social protection of the non-employed combines firstly an unemployment compensation for workers who have lost their job and are entitled to such a compensation, and secondly an assistance for the unemployed who have no or no more entitlements to the compensation, or who are exempted from work obligation (because classified as being not employable). The first scheme offers conditional insurance benefits which amount and duration are linked to previous occupational earnings and job duration. The second scheme provides conditional means-tested lump-sum benefits to individuals with no (more) insurance rights. The insurance scheme is financed by workers and employers’ contributions14 whereas the so-called “solidarity scheme” created in 1984 is funded and managed by the State. Both solidarity and insurance benefits are actually provided by a single benefit paying agency, the “Pôle emploi” that is also in charge of providing job search support15 (Cour des comptes, 2006; Dang et al., 2006). Social assistance covers various income support schemes aimed at supporting people in poverty whether looking for a job or not. Despite its institutional separation from the unemployment compensation system, it constitutes a third step in the social support to the unemployed who are not entitled to unemployment compensation. Income support schemes traditionally focus on individuals who were exempted from work obligations, such as lone parents’ recipient of the lone parent allowance or disabled adults. But, it had to take account progressively of new social risks that emerged in the 1980’s with the increasing number of unemployed without unemployment coverage and the growing risk of inactivity traps due to economic disincentives to work in the 2000’s. Today
This scheme was created in 1958. It is managed by a joint national insurance fund, the UNEDIC (National inter-sector union for employment in industry and trade) that is under governance of the social partners (workers’ unions and employers’ organisations).
Since December 2008, the National employment agency (Agence pour l’emploi – ANPE) merged with the ASSEDIC (Association for employment in industry and trade) into a unique agency, the “Pôle emploi”.
the main income support scheme is the Active solidarity income (RSA) created in June 2009, that is now the third step in the social protection of the unemployed. The architecture of the system is presented in the table below (Eydoux and Béraud, 2011). Table: Unemployment compensation (insurance and solidarity schemes) and social assistance
Unemployment compensation system
(“passive” labour market policies)
Income support scheme CNAF Social partners
Insurance benefits are linked to previous occupational earnings and paid for a limited period of time
Solidarity benefits are fixed amounts, means tested, paid for renewable time limits
Assistance benefits are means tested according to the household’s structure and income. The RSA is formatted to “make work pay”
Employers' and workers' contributions
State budget (Solidarity Fund)
Local taxes and State budget
Unemployed with sufficient employment references
Unemployed with sufficient employment references who have exhausted their rights to insurance benefits
Inactive or unemployed aged 25 years and more, below a minimum income (household’s resources) and / or lone parents
Return to employment allowance (ARE)
Specific solidarity allowance (ASS)
Active solidarity income (RSA)
Average (June 2009):
Average (June 2009):
Average (September 2009):
1 097 €
396 € Maximum: 454 € for a single person 954 € for a couple with 2 children
Employment counter (Pôle emploi)
Source: Eydoux A. (2003), revised 2010 (Eydoux and Beraud, 2011)
In terms of coverage, in 2010, about 80% of the registered unemployed were covered by the insurance scheme while another 10% received unemployment benefits from the solidarity scheme (ASS)). Only those who have sufficiently contributed to the insurance scheme receive an insurance compensation linked to their previous occupational earnings and job duration (1,097 euros on average in June 2009), while the unemployed who have exhausted their rights may benefit from a means tested lump-sum (440 euros in average) in the solidarity scheme if their former occupational experience is long enough, or may otherwise be provided with social assistance (396 euros in average in September 2009 for the RSA) if they belong to a poor household. In 2008, among the 392 000 recipients of the solidarity scheme, 77% received the ASS (allocation de solidarité specifique) and 17% received the AER (allocation equivalent retraite,) (Deroyon, 2010; Deroyon and Rochu, 2010).
ARE recipients or ASS recipients as other recipients of social benefits may be supported in their job search as also in their social integration process. But while the institutional and policy differentiation among registered unemployed tends to disappear, the activation of the assisted relies on specific, separated, institutions and programmes. Whereas the activation of registered unemployed relies on national orientations and is implemented by the new institution Employment centre, the activation of the assisted increasingly depends on local governance and strategies defined at Departement level according to local needs and resources. However, the current differentiation between the unemployed and the assisted not only reflects the redefinition of social needs but also the perception of social risks (Béraud and Eydoux, 2009). French activation strategy has been through several paths and a succession of shifts since the beginning of the 1980’s (Barbier, 2010, 2002, 2001). It first focused on “target groups” such as the youth, low-qualified or long-term unemployed. Since the mid-nineties, so-called “general measures” developed in order to stimulate employment: employment subsidies for low qualification or low paid workers, incentives to reduce working time and to hire new workers, etc. Parallel to these measures focusing on the demand for labour, the supply for labour was encouraged through financial incentives. Since 1983, insured unemployed may cumulate part of their insurance benefits with an income activity resulting from a so-called “reduced activity” (part-time, seasonal, temporary or shorttermed job). If conditions were originally restrictive (monthly worked hours as well as monthly income threshold were very low), the possibility to cumulate insurance benefits and income activity extended a long time (Gurgand and Letablier, 1999; Eydoux, Béraud 1999). Economic incentives and job-search support Since the late 1990’s more incentives to work have been set up and job-search support was reinforced. Meanwhile “Making work pay” became a strong argument in the French employment policies. The new activation policy intensifies personal support and financial incentives to encourage not only the unemployed but also the assisted to return to work. The new goals of employment policies are to reassert the value of work, to make work pay and to discourage inactivity, so to contribute to an “active social State” (Eydoux and Beraud, 2008, 2011). Since the beginning of the 2000s, a personalized support provided to the unemployed and to the assisted was set up. This Personalised action plan PAP was replaced in 2006 by a new job search support called a Personalised project for returning to employment (PPAE) and a monthly personalised support (SMP- suivi mensuel personalise). These job search supports changed the rights and duties balance. Obligation to search a job and to accept a proposal strengthened. The unemployed have now not only to prove their active job search but also to accept job search support and training programs as well as any job fitting to their qualification, paid at a normal wage rate and compatible with their geographical mobility. In 2005, the law on social cohesion stipulates that the unemployed have to prove continuous job search, have the duty to accept jobs that are not necessarily linked to their past training and experience, or accept subsidized training contracts such as an “apprenticeship contract” or a “professional contract”. They have also to comply themselves to any control. Control and sanction have been reinforced by the Social cohesion law: firstly, sanctions are now graduated according to the “fault” of the unemployed in order to extend their application, secondly, the unemployment agency takes up the control and sanction process that was formerly in the hand of the Ministry of employment’s decentralised services. As a result, there has been since 2005 a significant increase in the number of unemployed who have been crossed off the unemployment list.
Meanwhile, lone parents’ recipients of ARE or ASS are submitted to the same duties than other recipients, although some initiative seems to be left to the local agents (Perrier, 2010). The introduction of a new minimum income scheme (RSA) The income maintenance benefit was recently reformed by the Law of the 1st December 2008. A new social benefit (the RSA) was created whereas the “politiques d’insertion” was restructured. The reform is a master piece of the larger process of welfare policy restructuring aimed at simplifying the benefit system while improving the return to work. The main objective of the reform is to limit poverty by improving the making work pay system, raising the income of the working poor and restructuring the rights and duties system for the recipients (orientation, accompagnement). Lone parents have a major place in this restructuring since the Lone parent allowance has been merged into the new RSA. The reform of the income maintenance benefit was previously experimented in several regions. The reform has two objectives: a better support to the working poor and a better financial incentive to work. So the creation of the RSA aims at improving the making work pay dimension. The income maintenance allowance (RSA) is a supplement to the household income provided to families in order they reach a minimum income (“revenu garanti”) composed of a flat rate allowance + 62% from earnings. -
The flat rate allowance depends on the composition of the household. The amount can be temporally raised for lone parents, for 12 months or until the youngest child is 3 years old, resulting from the merging of the RMI and the API into the RSA
Conditions of eligibility for the “making work pay program (intéressement) have been extended to a larger number of recipients. The making work pay system is more attractive on the first year if the job is shorter than part time, and is more attractive also if the recipient is employed longer than part-time and for a longer period in employment. The new RSA provides an income supplement for former recipients of the API or RMI who return to work. However, conclusions from the experimentation indicate that no clear outcomes can be identified with respect to the redistribution objective (Lelièvre and Nauze-Fichet, 2009). But, with respect to the second challenge that is the improvement of the incentive to work, the new benefit system seems to be profitable for recipients who work part-time in the first year. Thus, the system tends to push women, most of them lone mothers, to take up part time jobs and poor quality jobs. -
The RSA reform settles a new set of rights and duties for the recipients of the income maintenance benefit. In particular, it settles a threshold for the rights while establishing a higher individualization of the duties, in a context of reinforcement of the “accompagnement” of the job searchers. A work trajectory (“parcours d’insertion”’) is more precisely defined than before, with various steps: “instruction du dossier, orientation, accompagnement”, each step being under the supervision of a specific actor. Rights and duties The rights are a financial support for the household and a social and job search “accompagnement” for each recipient. The accompagnement is adapted to the needs of each recipient and is provided by a unique “referent”. As a counterpart, the duties are based on the definition of perimeter of duties:
the income of the household should be lower than the RSA “socle” and the recipient should be unemployed or receiving monthly earning lower than 500 euros;
the recipient should be looking for a job or preparing for a return to work. These duties take account of specific constraints encountered by recipients of the supplement such as childcare problems.
Specific attention is paid to lone parents with young children (the “sujétions particulières”) and the difficulties they may encounter as it used to be for the API recipient. Lone parents are also eligible for the additional allowance to RSA if they fit to the work conditions (insertion conditions), e.g. if their constraints are overcome. Finally, the system of rights and duties results in a partition of the recipients in two clusters, according to the hierarchy of access conditions: -
an income maintenance higher for those who are classified as “inemployable” (MV, AAH …)
a lower income maintenance for adult recipients classified as able to work (ex RMI, ASS).
Since it was created in the mid seventies, the API became progressively a second type benefit (able to work) although it was conceived as a first type benefit (unemployable because of the maternal duties). Since the 1990, a degradation of the position of the API relatively to other income maintenance benefits was observed. Several recent changes has resulted in making the API a social benefit similar to the RMI or the ASS, e.g. a “minima social” (an income maintenance) instead of being a mother’s wage or a care compensation. The “parcours d’insertion” Orientation is a compulsory and determinant step in the “parcours d’insertion”. Following the opening of rights to benefits, is an orientation procedure that depends on the situation of the recipient. The recipient can be oriented towards a “organisme d’oriention professionnelle” like the unemployment agency (pole emploi for instance) or, if they are any difficulties for employment inclusion, the recipient is oriented towards a social inclusion agency or organisation. The content of duties varies according to the orientation. Duties are specified in different types of contracts. If the orientation is towards employment, the contact precisely indicates the search process. The job claimant cannot refuse more than two job offers. But if the orientation is towards social inclusion, the contract which is not relevant with the Labour code indicates the mutual engagements related to social and occupational inclusion procedures. The population concerned by the rights and duties includes one third of the 3,5 millions of potential recipients. Women are 59% of the population concerned by the rights and duties. Employment assistance / job-search support The 2003 Law on “decentralisation of the RMI” stipulates that every recipient of the RMI should have a “referent” that is a person appointed to “accompany” the recipient in his/her “parcours d’insertion” and should also sign a “contrat d’insertion” within the three months following the claim for the RMI. These are the “accompagnement” requirements of the law. A survey carried in 2006 by the Ministry of Social Affairs (enquête parcours d’insertion des bénéficiaires de minima sociaux) provides information on the situation of welfare benefits recipients two years later (Drees, 2007; Nicolas et Tomasini, 2008). The survey indicates that 68% of lone
parent recipients of the RMI had been accompanied by a “referent” during the two years after the inscription compared to 51% of women in couple and 60 % of all the RMI recipients. 50% of lone parents had also signed up a “contrat d’insertion” compared to 44% of all RMI recipients and 38% of women in couple. The proportion of recipients that had participated to insertion programs was also higher for lone parents (44%) than for RMI recipients (40%) and women in couple (29%). These results indicate that lone parents were beneficiaries of the job search measures (table A-23). The law creating the RSA reinforces rights and duties concerning the “accompagnement” of the recipients, both social and in job search. The RSA reinforces the contractualisation logic between institutions and a recipient that was already present in the RMI but not in the API. A “contrat unique d’insertion” (CUI) has been set up since the 1st of January 2010, that include all the former contracts. Depending on the recipient situation (after an evaluation), the recipient is oriented (by the orientation commission) either towards the employment agency (Pole emploi) if the first issue is to find a job, or towards social services if the first issue is to take out the obstacles to the job search. In this situation, the Family Fund Agencies (CAF) are also involved in the social accompagnement process. The RSA recipient has a unique referent person who set up a contract mentioning the mutual engagements. The organization of the “accompagnemet” implies different partners at local level: the local authorities, the employment agency and other organizations in charge of ‘insertion’, the local Family Fund agencies (CAF) and the social services of the municipalities. Other support services After the contract is set up, the recipient is eligible for a “Aide personnalisée au retour à l’emploiAPRE” which is a financial support allocated to the RSA recipient in order to cover immediate expenses due to the new job, such as childcare costs, transportation costs, etc. This financial support is provided by the “Fonds national des solidarities actives – FNSA”, that is a solidarity fund. In 2010, 150 million euros were devoted to this support (30 millions are provided to the employment agency (pole emploi) and 120 millions to the local authorities. The Pôle employ can also provide a child care financial support to lone parents’ recipient of the RSA and returning to work. This financial support (Aide à la garde d‘enfants pour les parents isolés – AGEPI) is funded and delivered by the employment agency. This support is provided to lone parents returning to work and with childcare problems. So far, there is no evaluation of the measures targeted on lone parents returning to work, in particular with regard to the priority of access to childcare facilities. Implementation of these measures depends on local authorities, as well as on the quality of partnerships between different institutions involved in the “accompagnement” of the RSA recipients (Letablier and al., 2011). Effects of active labour market schemes on employment and financial situation The 2006 Survey on return to work trajectories of welfare benefits recipients carried out by the Ministry of Social affairs and Solidarity) show that welfare benefits recipients face great economic difficulties due to unemployment (recipients of the ASS) or to difficulties in finding a stable and regular job (RMI and API recipients). In 2006, slightly less than ¼ of individuals who were recipients of these three welfare benefits (ASS, RMI, API) two years before had found a job, 37% were “au foyer” and 27% unemployed (Nicolas and Tomasini, 2008). In addition, 61% were searching for a job or another job, that was a hard enterprise given firstly the tensions on the labour market and secondly the low education level of this population. Indeed 32% of these job seekers had no diploma at all, 15% had a primary level of education (CAP and BEP), 12% had a BEPC (between primary and
secondary level) and 12% had a primary level with a training in services. Among those who had found a job between 2004 and 2006, 57% were “employés”, 19% unskilled blue collars and 14% skilled blue collars (Nicolas and Tomasini, 2008). Only 41% had an open ended labour contract while 36% had a short term labour contract (other than agency work contract, apprenticeship contract or seasonal contract). Either voluntary or not, part-time work was common for recipients who had found a job since more than half of the parents returning to work were concerned. However, 64% of these part-time parents report that they would like working full time. For these parents, part-time work was not seen as a mean of reconciliation between work and parental responsibilities, but rather as an imposed form of work. An accumulation of obstacles in accessing to employment for the population concerned by the rights and duties For parents recipient of welfare benefits, childcare is an obstacle in the return to work process (Eydoux et al., 2007; Eydoux et al., 2005; Garner et al., 2005). This is confirmed by the 2006 survey (Nicolas and Tomasini, 2008). According to the survey, 28% of the welfare benefits recipients were lone parent with one child, 16% were lone parents with two children, 12% were lone parents with three children, that is 52% of the recipients who were lone parents with dependent children. Presence of children prevents some parents to search a job; it is also a reason for refusing a job (40% of those who have refused a job within the two years say it was because of children). Refusal for this reason was more common among the API ‘long’ recipients (39%) for whom the loneliness and the age of children explain the refusal of the job offered. This reason is more frequent for mothers than for fathers: 18% of women recipient of the ASS gave this reason for refusing a job against 6% of men. However, difficulties in reconciling work and parental responsibilities are not only associated with children. Among obstacles met in “parcours d’insertion”, recipients with children also mention the working conditions of the job offered namely the working time schedules (13%) and the long distance between work place and home (21%). According to the survey carried out by the Minister of social Affairs (Drees), a large majority of RMI or API recipients who were unemployed but looking for a job at the time of the survey were constrained in their search by problems with transportation (costs too high or no transport available for half of the recipients), with health (24%) mainly for the RMI recipients, with childcare problems, mainly for the recipients of the API (Lelièvre et Nauze-Fichet, 2009). Among the RMI or API recipients who were unemployed but not searching a job, 48% of men recipients of the RMI reported health problems whereas 14% said that there was no work for them. By contrast, a large majority of women reported to be not available for work for family reasons. 33% of women recipients of the RMI said they were encountering health problems. Actually, women are more constrained than men by family responsibilities. Among women who do not search a job, 82% of the API recipients and 42% of the RMI recipients (72% of the women recipient of the RMI live with a partner and children) say that they are not available for work for family reasons. Among men and women in search of a job, 30% of the API recipients quote childcare difficulties as the second reason for not searching a job and 17% say that this problem prevents them from work. Resulting from this accumulation of obstacles, the employment rate is higher for men (30%) than for women (22% for the API recipients; 22% for mothers recipients of the RMI), except for childless women (32%). But, a large proportion of these working mothers are part-time: 55% against
30% for men. But part-time work is involuntary for 80% of these women (Lelièvre and Nauze-Fichet, 2009. Profiles of the RSA/API recipients According to Cyprien Avenel who conducted an evaluation of the reform of the income maintenance benefit for the Caisse Nationale d’allocations familiales (Avenel, 2009), recipients are: -
almost exclusively women (97% of the recipients), lone mothers (71% after a divorce or a separation; 28% are single mothers and 1% are widowed). The breakdown of the parental couple is the main reason for being recipient of this income maintenance.
rather young : 47% have less than 30 years, 36% have between 30 and 40 years old and 17% are 40 years old and more the average age is 31,5 years old, that is younger than the recipients of the RSA in general.
Living in a small family: 89% of the recipients have two or less children and 61% only one child. The mean age of their children is around 4 years.
So, the demographic profile of the recipients, either working or returning to work, is a young lone mother, divorced or separated, with only one young dependent child (2/3 of the recipients) of whom half is less than three years old. Half of these recipients have a low level of education: 51% have only a primary level of education whereas only 4% have a university level. Their profile is very similar to that of the recipients of income maintenance in general. Among these recipients with a work experience before being entitled to the RSA/API, 57% were working part-time and 43% full time. Having a work experience increases the likely to work after the API period (Tomasini, 2008). Recipients are also characterised by their low or very low income: 38% have an income below 300 euros per month per person in the household, and 55% have between 300 and 600 euros, the average being 354 euros. Recipients of the RSA-API earn from work less than 400 euros on average per month. This low level of earnings is due to the incidence of part-time work. Finally, the income from family benefits is higher than income provided by work (Avenel, 2009). When cumulating earnings and family/social allowances, the RSA-API recipients have an average income 1048 euros for the household. When questioned about returning to work, respondents often mention difficulties to access to childcare facilities. So, informal care by family members or friends is the most common form of childcare used by RSA-API recipients: more than 39% rely on family members or friends to care for children while 20% declare to have no childcare and 17% pay a childminder. Only 12% have their children cared for in a collective childcare, most of them having only one child. According to Avenel evaluation (2009), 44% of the recipients of the API-RSA had not received any “accompagnement” while 27% had regular support from a social worker, 18% from an employment coach and 3% from a social worker paid by the Family policy. The main reason for being accompanied was support to job search (47% of the recipients), either to the process of returning to work or to the pursuit of the job. Quality of work
Most of the women recipients of the RSA-API work in local authorities’ services and in family services: 81% are “employés”, 29% of whom are employed by local authorities in care services in schools or in cleaning or catering, and 27% are directly employed by families by in caring and cleaning jobs, or work in hotels. 17,5% are employed in retail trade and 7% are working in manufacturing industry. In addition to having precarious jobs, a majority of recipients are working part-time with long term work contracts (more than 2 on 3 (67%) are working part-time, that is more than the recipients of the RMI). Compared to the recipients of the RMI in general, RSA-API recipients are more likely to have a long term contract (38% compared to 18% of the RMIstes); 30% have a short-term contract; 20% have a subsidized job (“contrat aidé”) of whom 10,5% have a “contrat d’avenir”, 3,5% a “contrat d’accompagnement vers l’emploi”, 2% a “contrat de professionnalisation” and 1% a “contrat d’apprentissage”. In addition, 7% of the recipients are employed by a work agency (interim), 3% are self employed, and 2% are seasonal workers (Avenel, 2009). The diversity of the work contracts characterizes lone mothers’ recipient of the income maintenance. For the recipients who do not have long term work contract, another characteristic of the jobs is that these jobs are very temporary since the average duration is nine months whereas the period between two jobs is on average 22 months. Indeed when API merged into the RSA, 32% of the recipients had not been working for 2/3 years, 23,5% had not been working for more than 3 years and 44,5% had not been working for less than one year. Their discontinuity in work trajectories may be explained by the poor quality of jobs they are offered, not only from the perspective of the work status but also with reference to the working conditions, especially with regard to part-time work. Working part-time or full-time depends on the age of the recipient: the older ones have more often than the younger a part time job: 80% of the 35-39 and 78% of the 40 and over work part time whereas 44% of the 20-24 work full time. No surprise that the young recipients declare to encounter childcare problems. They have younger children than the part timers. However, these work conditions do not impact on satisfaction since 60% of the recipients say that they are satisfied with their job: -
28% consider that the job is adequate to their expectations 21,5% that their work is pleasant 10% say that the working hours are compatible with their parental responsibilities (also their part-time option) 6,5% appreciate the proximity between home and workplace Only 6% consider that their job fits to their skills.
By contrast, among the 31% who are not satisfied with their job, 28,5% say that it is because work is irregular, working hours are unsocial hours, work status is precarious and earnings are too low. 19% say they would like to improve their employment conditions, either by training or by finding another job, while 16% say that they would appreciate to work more but not necessarily full-time. Only 12% would like to have a full-time job or a long term work contract. Overall effects of reforms on well-being of lone parents and family members Since lone parent families are assumed to be more at risk of poverty than other families, they are supported by specific policy measures. In 2009, the targeted allowances provided by the Caisses d’allocations familiales (API and ASF) amounted respectively to 1 million euros (of which 144 millions in the overseas departments) and 1, 17 million euros (of which 170 millions in the overseas
departments), in addition to other family and child benefits. Lone parent families have also specific ceilings for the birth premium for instance, or the basic allowance of the Childcare benefit (Paje) and also for the family supplement, that are more favorable than for other families. Lone parent families also benefit of a fiscal advantage: because of their particular situation, they are provided with an additional half fiscal share on the income tax. Finally, the redistribution towards lone parent families is more intense than towards other families. This redistribution result from targeted allowances, as well as from tax benefit and above all from mean tested social/family benefits since primary income of these families is often limited. The importance of these social transfers questions the possible impact of the activation strategies for these families. The issue is important since one lone parent family on three lives under the poverty threshold (at 60%). The proportion is particularly high for non employed lone mothers (68%). But 26% of employed lone mothers are concerned by monetary poverty. In the mid 2000, more than half of lone parent families (55%) had a net income per consumer unit of 719 euros per month. Over the last 15 years, the share of lone parent families among the recipient of welfare benefits has increased. This trend result less in an increase in the recipients of the Lone parent allowance than in the increase in the recipients of the minimum income (RMI): between 1994 and 2003, the number of API recipients increased by 12% whereas lone parents recipients of the RMI increased by 53% (the recipients of the RMI increased by 26% on the same period). In 2007, 24,5% of the recipients of the RMI were lone parent families. The contrasted evolutions of the API and RMI reflect both the growing fragility of lone parent families and the greater difficulties in access to employment (Clément et al., 2005a and b). After the eligibility of the API is over, 50% of the recipients become recipient of the RMI. So, from 2000 onwards, there were more and more lone parent families in precarious situation. Does the restructuring of the welfare benefits have change this trend? It is difficult to answer to this question. The activation reforms engaged in the 1990 onwards and developed during the last decade, either in the employment policy (Loi de retrour à l’emploi 2006, reform of the RSA etc.) or in family policy (Paje) have contributed to strengthen the incentives to work. In this general frame of activation, lone parent families have been targeted through several means. Although lone parent families have been concerned by activation later than the RMI recipients, they have been included in the reforms of the decade. But all the activation measures that have been implemented before the reform of the RSA/API had a limited impact on the return into work, partly because the monetary gain to work was very limited whereas the costs linked to the return to work are relatively high (childcare, transports etc.). So, the RSA was expected to raise the income of lone parent families in employment. With the reform, 25% of lone parent families are expected to have an additional income (without changing their employment behaviour) (Bourgeois and Tavan, 2009). Among all employed recipients, lone parents were expected to be the most important beneficiaries of the reform (with an income surplus of 80 euros per month). This was expected to concern 32% of employed lone parent families. This impact on lone parent families is due to the fact that most of lone parents are often in poor jobs, low paid and part time. The RSA was also expected to have a financial impact on lone parents returning to work. Lone parents who were not eligible to the API (or no more) have got a raise of their income because they have been returning to work more often than other families. This is the case for lone parents with one or two children aged more than 3 years. For instance, a lone parent with one dependent child
returning to work quart time may raise its income by 161 euros per month with the RSA, whereas similar return to work before the reform would not have had any impact on income (Moeneclae, 2009: 81). However, the shift from the API to the RSA produces a change in the status of the recipients. Indeed, API recipients feel themselves beneficiaries of the family policy, recognized as mothers, whereas RMI recipient have a poor image of themselves and of their status. By merging the API and RMI recipients, the RSA ruins the positive representation of the API recipient. This change in representations of the self was expected to speed the return to work in order to escape from this devalorised image of “assisted”. The “contrat pour l’insertion professionnelle” or the “contrat pour l’insertion sociale” making up the logic of rights and duties is fairly new for the API recipients. The RSA introduces an accompaniment towards social inclusion or towards employment that did not exist seriously before for the API recipients, except in local strategies16 (Moeneclae, 2009). However, the RSA does not change radically the eligibility conditions to the API, since a “complément” for lone parents is included into the RSA. Conditions of eligibility are similar to former conditions (during one year following a separation or until the three years of the child for other parents). The amount of the “complément” is similar to the API. But since 200, the unemployment agency (pole employ) offers a support to childcare (AGEPI - see above) to lone parents recipient of welfare benefits and searching for a job. The outcomes of the activation policies on lone parents have been limited. The activity rate of lone mothers remain stable around 82% during the period 2003-2007 and slightly raising for lone fathers (from 88% to 91%). Following the 2006 “making work pay” reform (intéressement), it was reported that lone parents were recipient of making work pay schemes like other RMI beneficiaries. In 2005, only 12,5% of lone parents’ recipient of the RMI had been on a making work pay scheme. Most of lone parents on making work pay programs return to work, but part-time, often less than 78 hours per month. So, there is evidence that social/ family policies improve the well-being of children living in lone parent families. The received support reduces the poverty risk of these families. However, it is not possible to assess the impact of the recent welfare reforms and especially of active labour market policies. In terms of health, school performance, quality of family life, assessment of the impact of the reforms has not been done yet. But the quality of pre-school, of collective childcare services are often said to have positive impact on cognitive development of children, on their sociability, especially on children living in poor families. In addition, lone mothers returning to work often say that the return improves their social networks, even if their working conditions remain poor.
About 25% of the Caisses d’allocations familiales offered support to API recipients. The support could be a specific financial support specifically for lone parents or support services towards employment or social services (dispositifs d’insertion professionnelle ou sociale).
8 Alimony / child support payments / Maintenance allowance Key question: To what extent do lone parents receive financial support from the other parent of the child(ren)? How (successfully) do state regulations intervene in this domain? Legal provisions concerning alimony payments Lone parents are legally entitled to alimony from the other parent of the child, after divorce or separation. The law considers that the two parents have an “obligation” vis à vis their children, even after separation or divorce. This applies to married couples and to non married couples (‘pacs’ or cohabitants) since it is viewed as an entitlement of children whatever the living arrangements of their parents. After separation, children should not change their living conditions, so parents have to support their children. Therefore, the child is entitled to alimony after separation or divorce of the parents. Alimony is provided each month by the parent who is not living everyday with the child. Conditions for alimony can be established either by agreement between the parents or by a judge if no agreement can be found between the parents. The principle is that the parent who has the highest income should contribute more to the education and care of the child. So, alimony is established by a judge, on criteria such as the parents’ income and the needs of child (considering that the child should not suffer from the separation of the parents and continue having the same living conditions). The amount of alimony is established by the judge in case of divorce or by a judge specialized in family affairs if parents were not married. The alimony can be revised each year, taking account of the increase in the life cost. It can also be revised (renegotiated) if the economic situation of one of the parents has deteriorated (for instance if one of the parents is unemployed) or if the needs of the child have changed (for instance, if the child becomes student). For children who alternate their dwelling between the two parents, alimony may be provided by one parent to the other in some cases. The assumption behind alimony is that the two parents are due to contribute to the well-being of their children, proportionally to their income. The law does not say anything about the calculation of the alimony. The judge implements the law by defining the two parents’ obligations. However, the way it is written in the French Civil Code is in general terms, opening the way to various interpretations about the notion of “besoins de l’enfant” in their calculation. The Civil Code says: “Chacun des parents contribute à l’entretien et à l’éducation des enfants à proportion de ses ressources, de celles de l’autre parent, ainsi que des besoins de l’enfant” (Code Civil, art. 371-2). So, there are no harmonised rules for calculating alimonies. This is an issue currently under discussion. Over the last decade, several reports from experts have underlined the need for reforming and fixing calculation rules for more equity between the recipients. This issue was debated in the Senate as soon as 1996, but is still on the agenda. A research by Bruno Jeandidier and Jean-Claude Rey in 2006 revealed that the decisions of the judges mainly followed an economic logic in their calculation that is according to the income of the parents. But few accounts of the characteristics of children were taken into account in the judge decisions. The authors also show that there was a “judge effect” in the calculation of alimonies: similar situations can result in different decisions according to the judge (Jeandidier and Ray, 2006). Similar conclusions have been made by
other authors (Bourreau-Dubois et al., 2005; Sayn, 2002; Jacquot, 2002). Not only the lack of calculation rules result in inequities between lone parents, but they also result in inefficiency, notably because it makes it more complex to get cooperative behaviour between the two parents, therefore resulting in conflicts and bad relationships. Effective payments of alimony Data concerning the payment of alimony date from 1985. According to the study, 60% of alimonies were regularly paid (and totally), 10% were partially paid and 30% were not paid at all. A recent study published by the Caisse nationale d’Allocations familiales (CNAF) report that “families who are the most in need of cash are those families for whom alimony is not paid regularly or not at all” (Kesteman, 2009: p. 69). There is no recent precise evaluation of the non payment of alimonies. But according to the Conseil économique et social “lawyers evaluate at 20 to 40% the number of alimonies that are not paid”. In fact, 23% of debtors who have a stable job and a regular income might not pay alimony although 75% of the debtors who are unemployed or none employed do not pay. On average, alimony was 328 euros in 2008, contributing for 17% to the initial income of the creditors (that was 1863 euros per month). A survey carried out by the ministry of Justice in 2009 indicates that 15% of alimonies were lower than the Family support allowance (ASF = 87 euros) whereas 6% exceeded 500 euros (in 29% of cases, no alimony had been settled) (enquête Jurica, Ministère de la Justice, quoted in HCF, 2010: p. 4). Following experimentation in 2009 in Toulouse, the courts have been provided a reference grid aimed at settling alimony everywhere in France. According to this grid, alimony varies according to the residence conditions and the frequency of the relationships with the other parent. Alimony decreases with the debtor’s number of dependent children, and proportionally increases with the debtor’s income. The income of the creditor is also taking into account in the settling of alimony. So, for a family with two children “creditors” total alimony (for a classical situation of residence and visit settling) with respect to the debtor income would be about 12,6% for an income of 1000 euros , 17,8% for an income of 2000 euros, 19,5% for an income of 3000 euros and 20,4% for 4000 euros. In general, the revision of alimony according to the price indicator seems to be well respected (HCF, 2010). One third of lone parent households gets alimony, and therefore does not receive the Family support allowance (ASF). About one on five lone parent households does not receive either alimony or ASF for various reasons: children are cared for by both parents alternately; or the “caring “parent does not claim for the alimony, or for the allowance; or the alimony is given “de la main à la main” and is not declared. In 14% of divorced couples, no alimony is provided. It is in particular the case in three divorces on four that are ended by a decision of alternate residence. But no data are available concerning the proportion of cases in which alimony is not settled after a separation of non married parents. The frequency of alimony payments depends on who is the parent with whom the residence of the child is settled. -
For children whose residence is settled with the mother, in 84% of cases the father has to pay alimony after a divorce or a separation.
For children whose residence is settled with the father, in 25% of cases, the mother has to pay alimony. In cases of alternate residence, alimony is provided by the father in 23% of cases and almost never by the mother (0,6% of cases).
Advance payments by the State In case the other parent does not pay the alimony he/she is supposed to pay, the Caisse d’allocations familiales can provide the lone parent with a substitute that is an advance payment ( “Allocation de soutien familial” – ASF) while trying to get back the alimony from the indebted parent. The lone parent who has not received the due alimony for at least two months, and after complaining to the judge, is eligible for support from the Caisse d’allocations familiales (CAF) which firstly undertake proceedings to get the alimony, and secondly provide the lone parent with ASF as compensation. The allowance will be reimbursed after the recovering of the alimony. The mean tested allowance ASF is provided to lone parents who care for dependent children (under 20 years old) without any support from the other parent (or with a limited and irregular support). If alimony is partly paid to the lone parent, the ASF is partly paid to the parent who cares for children. For lone parents who are recipients of the RSA while not receiving the alimony the allowance is automatically provided during four months. After the 4 months the amount of the allowance received is deducted from the RSA. Lone parents living with a new partner (either remarried or ‘Pacsed’ or cohabitating) are no longer eligible for this allowance that is aimed at replacing the contribution of the other parent. Slightly less than half of all lone parent households are recipients of the ASF, covering 1,16 million children. Almost 20% of the ASF are provided to orphans and 74% to children whose filiation was established with only one parent and for whom the alimony cannot be established. From 1990 to 2009, the number of recipients of the ASF continuously increased, from 536 000 to 735 000 recipients, that is an increase of 37%. The increase is due to the growing number of divorces and separations, with also a growing number of parents unable (“hors d’état”) to pay the alimony for their children: their share has been increasing from 20% to 38% among the recipients of the ASF between 2001 and 2009 (La lettre du Haut Conseil de la famille, n° 03, Juillet 2010: p. 5-6). The proportion of families with three or more children is higher among the recipients of the ASF (18%) than among the overall group of lone parents (14%). In addition, recipients of the ASF have a lower income than other lone parent families. Only 6% of the recipients do not receive means tested benefits, of whom 56% are under the poverty threshold (compared to 21% for the total of lone parent families). Legal means in case of non-payment There are at least two possibilities to get the paid amount back from the indebted parent: a direct payment procedure or a legal procedure. The simplest way is the direct payment. It is also the most rapid procedure, avoiding going to court. The unpaid alimony can be deducted from wages, bank accounts or from social benefit that are provided to the indebted parent. The lone parent can appeal to one or another of these direct payments. This procedure can also be resulting from a common agreement between the two parents. To launch this procedure, the lone parent has to appeal to an
officer of justice (huissier de justice), providing him with a copy of the judgment fixing the amount of the alimony, a balance due of the unpaid alimony and indications concerning the indebt parent. -
“saisie sur salaire”: alimony is paid by the indebted parent’s employer to the other parent. The demand should be addressed to a lawyer or to a court.
“saisie sur comptes bancaires”
«saisie des biens, immobiliers ou autres »
The family agencies (caisses d’allocations familiales) can take upon itself the procedures to get the back payments. Almost two out of three divorce procedures are accompanied by a legal support (“aide juridictionnelle” - AJ). The legal support is more often provided in case of divorce “pour faute” than for divorces by mutual consent. Households’ income is in general higher in cases of divorce by mutual consent. Legal support is more often provided to the mother or to the two parents than to the father. This is because of the income gap between men and women. In case of entire legal support, the cost covered by the state varies between 675 euros and 1295 euros. In 2010, the state budget devotes 298 M euros to the legal support (AJ). More than one out of four AJ concern family affairs (HCF, 2010).
9 Cultural values and norms Key question: Please provide key results from surveys on people’s attitudes towards a) lone parenting and b) employment participation of mothers and lone parents in particular. How has that changed over time? In this section, two data sources are being used: firstly, data from the INED/INSEE survey “Etude des relations familiales et intergénérationnelles- ERFI” that is the French version of the international “Generations and Gender Survey” (GGS), and secondly data from the annual barometer on “Conditions de vie et aspirations des français” carried out by the CREDOC (Centre de recherches pour l’étude et l’observation des conditions de vie) and including questions on family policy on behalf of the Caisse Nationale d’Allocations familiales – CNAF – (see: Kesteman, 2009). The first wave of the ERFI survey was carried out in 2005 in France, the second wave in 2008. 10 000 adults (18-79) responded to the first wave, and 6500 of them have also responded to the second wave. We use here data from the first wave survey. This survey informs on opinions and attitudes towards changes in family structure, parenthood and family styles whereas the CREDOC survey inform on opinions about social and family policies. Available data on opinions towards policies are drawn from the CREDOC survey carried out in December 2008 and January 2009. General outcomes Family structures have considerably changed over the last 50 years, being increasingly far from the traditional family design. Meanwhile attitudes have also changed with regard to living styles. Cohabitation is now common place across all social groups. The diversity of family trajectories is also common place, as also the diversity of family forms (Mainguelé, 2011). . With regard to social and family policy, the CREDOC survey indicates that respondents show a higher compassion towards the poorest people in 2009 than before: 68% of the respondents say the public authorities do not bring enough support to the people the most in need. The return to work is perceived as one of the priorities of social policy: More than three on four respondents (85%) consider that return to work is a realistic objective for most of the RMI/RSA recipients but with the condition than they receive help. With respect to family policy, more than one respondent on two (58%) support the idea that policies fighting poverty and social inequalities should become a priority on the policy agenda. So, the activation policy in general receives a high support from the population in France. The same question was formulated on the last 20 years and the majority of respondents always state that public policies do not enough to limit poverty and social exclusion. A majority of respondents (54%) say that the minimum income (RMI) is more a support to people for getting out of poverty than a disincentive to work. This opinion is particularly common among the professionals (69%), but also among the beneficiaries of social welfare benefits (API, AAH, RMI), students, middle class employees and people living in the Parisian area. Concerning the assumption that social benefits may discourage from work, attitudes have changed recently: whereas an increasing number of people supported this idea over the last decade, their number has decreased in 2009 (from 48% to 44%). Moreover, compared to 1995, a large majority of respondents in 2009 support the idea that “most of the RMI recipients are able to work if they get job search support” (Kesteman, 2009). This idea is
supported by at least 77% of respondents whatever their occupational position. The most pessimistic about this idea are found among the low educated people. For the first time a question was introduced about what should be the first objective of minimum income benefit. According to 62% of the respondents, it should be “for those who can, to participate in the labour force” rather than be provided with a minimum income. This idea is common to all social categories of respondents. When coming to the objectives of the family policy, 62% of the respondents say that benefits supporting families are not sufficient and should be raised accordingly. Also, 48% of the respondents report that poor families should be supported in priority.
Attitudes towards lone parenting Although children live in increasingly diversified forms of families, 90% of the respondents to the ERFI survey approve the statement according to which “To grow up happily, a child needs to live with both parents together”. Reality is however far from the ideal since an increasing number of children live mainly with one parent. Attitudes towards lone parenthood seems to have changed over time since half of the respondents in the 2005 ERFI survey agree on the following statement : “A single woman can have and raise a child out of a stable relationship with a man” (Mainguelé, 2001). Both men and lone mothers are more often supportive to this statement than other respondents (51% and 69% respectively). It is however interesting to note that responses do not vary according to the age of respondents. So, there is no specific attitude towards lone parenthood. As we said earlier, the debate seems to have shifted on gay and lesbian parentality. A review of articles published in newspapers over the last years would probably confirm this shift in France. Similarly, lone parenthood has not been a focus in the last CREDOC surveys. Emphasis was mainly on opinions on the welfare benefit reforms and especially on the implementation of the RSA. Lone parents are not isolated as a target group of social policy in these surveys. Lone parents at risk of poverty and social exclusion deserve attention as other people concerned by poverty. There is no particular people’s attitude towards lone parenting in itself. However attitudes towards family policy priorities included lone parent families in the 1999 and 2005 CREDOC surveys17 thus providing comparable data for these two years18. When asked about what families should be supported in priority, 54% of the respondents respond “the poorest families” and 24% “the lone parents, namely lone mothers”, 8% “the families with medium income” and 7% the “large families – three children and more” (Credoc, 2005). Figures have not changed from the 1999 survey (table A-45) except support to lone mothers that are more a priority in 2005 than in 1999. Recipients of family benefits and non recipients display the same attitude (table A-45). There are few variations in the attitudes respectively to the sociodemographic characteristics of the respondents: The poorest families are those receiving more compassion. Respondents who would like lone mothers being more a priority of family policy support are more often professionals (more than 50% of the respondents), pensioners and stay at home people. This attitude is more prevalent in the older groups of population and also in the Paris region.
The survey is carried out every year on a representative sample oft he French population of 2000 respondents who are interviewed face oto face.
Aknowlegments to Nadia Kesteman (CNAF) who kindly gave me these data.
However, the 2010 survey does not provide any question about attitudes towards lone parenting or about support to lone mothers. The chapter on the reform creating the RSA does not say anything about lone parent’s recipient of the minimum income (Bigot and Croutte, 2010) Attitudes towards employment participation of mothers Mothers’ work is still controversial, notably among the older generations as shown by the responses to the ERFI survey. Despite the fact that women have been increasingly participating in the labour force over the last 50 years, one respondent out of four state that in a context of economic recession, men should be given priority in access to employment. Women are however more than men opposed to this statement (64% and 58% respectively disagree on it). It is however on this issue that wide variations between age cohorts are found: only 10% of the 20-24 years support such a priority to men, against 50% of the 75-79 years old, thereby reflecting deep change in attitudes towards women’s work. Mothers with young children are also participating more than before in the labour force. In 2009, 78% of mothers with at least one child under three years old were working against 43% in 1975. Nevertheless, more than 50% of the respondents state that a “young child may suffer from mothers’ work” (53% of men and 49% of women). But 69% of the stay-at-home mothers share this opinion, as also 66% of the low educated respondents and 65% of immigrant respondents. Once again, opinions vary greatly according to the age of the respondents: under 40 years old, only four out of ten of the respondents “agree” with a possible risk of suffering for children with working mothers against seven out of ten for the 65 years and older (Mainguelé, 2011). According to Régis Bigot from the CREDOC (Bigot, 2010a), traditionalism in regard to life styles is declining. According to this author commenting the 2010 CREDOC survey results, changes are resulting from a long term trend away from traditional attitudes: attitude towards marriage as being an indissoluble union has lost ground during the last 30 years, as have negative attitude towards mothers’ participation in employment. For instance, in the early 1980s, only 28% of people living in rural areas advocated the idea that women “should be able to work in all cases when they want it” whereas 30 years later 62% of the same population agree on this statement, thereby reducing the gap in attitudes between rural and urban population. Nowadays, 70% of the urban respondents agree on the statement according to which women should work if they want to do so. Meanwhile, the value attributed to the family (la valeur famille) that remains very high on the value ladder is less hegemonic than before. For instance, in the 1970 onwards, 68% of the respondents supported the statement according to which “the family is the only place in which one feels well and comfortable”, they are 59% in 2010 (Bigot, 2010). Over 30 years, attitudes towards women’s work have been considerably changing: nowadays, 71% of the respondents assume that women should do (work) according to whatever they want to (Only 30% support this idea in the early 1980s). Only 12% assume that mothers with young children should not work (41% thirty years ago). These assumptions impact on preferences about parental leave design: The least respondents support the idea that mothers of young children work, the more they support the idea of a long parental leave. But the survey does not provide any further information about attitudes towards lone mothers’ participation in the labour force as if it is no more under discussion.
Other attitudes on parenthood The ERFI survey provides interesting outcomes about opinions on fathers’ role. The role of fathers in the family sphere is increasingly acknowledged in particular by the youngest respondents. For instance, after divorce or separation of the two parents, 42% of the respondents state that it is “neither better, nor worse for children to stay living with their mother” whereas 30% have a preference for children staying with the mother as the main carer, and 28% are against this idea. But once again, there is generation effect in opinions about fathers ‘role. The youngest respondents are not as supportive as the older respondents of the children staying mainly with the mother after separation: 22% of the under 25 years old against 45% of the 75 years old and more. Moreover, 30% of men disagree with the preference given to the mother for being the main carer. But 90% of divorced respondents agree with it. As we have noted earlier, the number of fathers who are given “shared caring” (garde alternée) of their children after divorce has increased from 12% (of divorces with children) in 2003 to 14% in 200619. But care responsibility given exclusively to fathers is still not common (7% in 2003). The last CREDOC survey (2010) also shows that attitudes tend to be less traditional than before in France, especially with regard to new forms of parenthood like homoparentality. Gay parentality is being highly debated over the last year. It is interesting to note that attitudes towards gay parenting and gay marriage have rapidly changed over the last years. In 2010, almost one respondent in two states that two same sex people should be authorized to adopt a child (the proportion was 40% four years ago). In addition, 61% of the respondents state that two same sex people should access to civil marriage (55% in 2007). So gay marriage and parentality have been on the forefront, thereby relegating other debates to the second front. Opinions on the reform of the minimum income and the creation of the RSA The 2010 survey focuses on opinions on the reform of the RSA. Since no specific questions have been introduced on opinions on lone parents’ recipients of the minimum income, one can infer that lone parents are no more a specific category among the “poor”. For a large majority of respondents, the creation of the RSA is viewed as good. Recipients and non recipients share the same opinion. For 80% of the respondents, being recipient of the minimum income implies a counterpart, that is job searching. 68% of the respondents fear however that the RSA may contribute to the development of precarious work. ... and on family policy priorities: changes over time With respect to the primary objectives of the family policy, reducing poverty and social inequalities stands on the first rank of priorities. But this objective is no more observed with regard to family structures, and especially with regard to lone parent families. Another outcome of the last CREDOC survey concerns the preferences for in cash or in kind benefits. Only 23% of the respondents prefer support in cash and 12% in tax deductions compared to 43% who prefer support in kind (services and childcare structures). Only 12% prefer flexible working time arrangements and 10% prefer support by social workers or family counsellors. Finally, two thirds prefer in kind support and one third support in cash. Preferences are however different according to social characteristics of the respondents: in kind support is preferred by high income individuals, 19
This possibility was legally introduced in 2002 (Law of the 14 March 2002)
professionals and older respondents whereas in cash benefits are preferred by young respondents and the lower educated respondents. 45% of the RSA recipients prefer in cash benefits to in kind support. Concerning families that should be supported in priority, there is a new concern about middle class families (Bigot, 2010b). A growing part of the respondents assumes that there is too much attention devoted to poor families, therefore making the family policy a social policy. Indeed, for the first time in 2010, this opinion was approved by a majority of respondents (54%) whereas in 1992, only 25% of the respondents supported this statement (Bigot, 2010a). But once more, lone parent families are not mentioned. Finally, it is difficult identifying attitudes and opinions towards lone parent families and lone mothers’ work. The last attitude surveys do not provide specific outcomes about these families. Does it mean that the debate is no more pertinent? Once more I would say that lone parent families are not a homogeneous category of families. Most lone parents are not a specific category for public policy. It is mainly when they are at risk of poverty that they are a public policy target. However they are no more a specific target but included into the large population group of the minimum income recipients. We have seen (cf. Infra) that most lone parent families are participating in the labour force and as other parents, receive support to working parents but with priorities for childcare services. Most lone parents and especially lone mothers participate in the labour force despite the difficulties they may encounter concerning childcare and work-family balance. But their living conditions are still very poor. The RSA reform seems to have erased the working and mothering dilemma, at least in principle, but certainly not in practice. However in a context of high unemployment persistence, work is highly valued. And participation in the labour force is viewed as a positive value. Debates on the value of work have been important over the last decade, opposing advocates of the idea along with work as an erasing value to advocates of work as a strong value contributing to happiness and social relations. Part-time work has never been highly supported as a mothers’ issue in France. In fact, women’s attitudes towards employment participation are viewed as a means of emancipation and economic security (Méda and Périvier, 2007). But it does not exclude being a parent. The CREDOC barometer undoubtedly reflects the fact that work is highly valued, whatever the family situation. Practices however tend to underline that there is a strong class effect with respect to mothers and lone parents’ employment. Indeed, low educated mothers tend to stand out of the labour force and take care for their children. But the reason may be the poor quality of jobs they are offered (Méda et al., 2003).
10 Conclusion Lone parent families have become a widespread phenomenon in France participating to the increasing diversification of family living styles. Meanwhile, lone parenthood has become commonplace. Public debates on lone parenthood are being less on the forefront now, except with regard to their poverty risk. The last reforms of the welfare benefits have tended to include poor lone parents in the overall group of „the poor“ that are recipients of minimum income benefit, therefore emphasizing on poverty risk and social policy response instead of emphasizing on parenting (i.e. mothering) and family policy support, thereby displacing reasons for stigmatisation.
References Alberola E.2009, « La professionnalisation des assistantes maternelles: un processus en cours », Politiques sociales et familiales n° 97:71-76. Algava E., 2005, « Les familles monoparentales », in C. Lefèvre & A. Filhon (dir.), Histoires de familles, histoires familiales. Les cahiers de l’INED n° 156, Paris. Algava E., Ruault M., 2003, « Les assistantes maternelles: une profession en développement ? », Drees, Etudes et Résultats n° 232. Ananian S., Robert-Bobée I., 2009, « Modes de garde et d’accueil des enfants de moins de 6 ans en 2007 », Drees, Etudes et Résultats n° 678. Avenel C., 2009, L’accompagnement social des bénéficiaires du RSA au titre de l’API. Evaluation des expérimentations conduites par les CAF. Dossier d’études Cnaf n° 117. Avenel M., 2001, « Les enfants de moins de 6 ans et leurs familles en France métropolitaine », DREES Etudes et résultats n°97. Baileau G., 2009, « L’offre d’accueil collectif des enfants de moins de 6 ans en 2007 », Drees, Etudes et résultats n° 681. Baileau G., 2008, L’accueil collectif et en crèche familiale des enfants de moins de 6 ans en 2006, enquête annuelle auprès des services de PMI, Drees, document de travail n° 125. Barbier J-C, Knuth M., 2010, Of similarités and divergences: Why threre is no continental ideal type of activation reforms?, Document de travail Centre d’Economie de la Sorbonne n° 2°010-75. Barbier J-C., 2002, « Peut-on parler d’activation de la protection sociale en eurospe? », Revue Française de sociologie, n°43-2, avril-juin, pp.307-332. Barbier J-C., 2001, Welfare to work policies in eurospe, Document de travail CEE, n°11, 24 p. Bec C., 2008, « L’assistance, un mode paradoxal d’acquittement de la dette collective », Recherches et Prévisions n° 91 : 9-18. Beraud M., Eydoux A., 2009, « Activation des chômeurs et modernisation du service public de l’emploi: les inflexions du régime français d’activation », Travail et emploi, n° 119, juillet-septembre. Beraud M., Eydoux A., 2008, « L’accompagnement vers l’emploi, approche socio-institutionnelle », in Balzani B., Beraud M., BOULAYOUNE A., DIVAY S., EYDOUX A., GOUZIEN A., L’accompagnement vers l’emploi. Acteurs, pratiques, dynamiques, Rapport final pour la Dares-Ministère de l’emploi, 270 p. Bigot R., 2010a, « L’opinion défend à la fois la liberté individuelle et la cohésion sociale », Crédoc Consommation et Modes de vie n° 231, Juillet. Bigot R., 2010b, Fins de mois difficiles pour les classes moyennes, Paris : Editions de l’Aube. Bigot R., Croutte P., 2010, « RSA, prestations familiale set aides aux familles : état de l’opinion début 2010 », Crédoc, Enquête conditions de vie et Aspirations des français n° 265, octobre. Blöss T., 2009, « Travail domestique et responsabilités parentales: présupposés et paradoxes de l’action publique », Informations sociales, n. 154, pp. 50-59. Bourgeois C., Tavan C., 2009, « Le revenu de solidarité active : principes de construction et effets attendus », TRÉSOR-ECO N° 61. Bourreau-Dubois C., Jeandidier B., Deffains B., 2005, « Un barème de pension alimentaire pour l’entretien des enfants en cas de divorce», Revue française des affaires sociales n° 5-2005. Buttner O., Letablier M-T., Pennec S., 2002, L’action publique face aux transformations de la famille en France, Rapport de recherche Centre d’Etudes de l’Emploi n° 02. Cassan F., Mazuy M., Clanché F., 2005, « Refaire sa vie en couple est plus fréquent pour les hommes », in Lefèvre C., A. Filhon (dir.), Histoires de familles, histoires familiales. Les cahiers de l’INED n° 156, Paris. Céreq, 2007, « Les emplois à bas salaire et les salariés à l’épreuve de la flexibilité », Bref Céreq, janvier. Chardon O., Vivas E., 2009a, Les familles recomposées: entre familles traditionnelles et familles monoparentales, Document de travail INSEE n° F0904. Chardon O., Vivas E., 2009b, « Les familles recomposées entre familles traditionnelles et familles monoparentales », Insee Première, Oct. Chardon O., Daguet F., 2009, « Enfants des couples, enfants des familles monoparentales. Des différences marquées pour les jeunes enfants », Insee Première n°1216, janvier.
Chardon O., Daguet F., Vivas E., 2008, « Les familles monoparentales. Des difficultés à travailler et à se loger », Insee Première n° 1195, juin. Clément J., Mathieu F., Mahieu R., 2005a, « 1,5 million de familles monoparentales sont allocataires des CAF », L’e-ssentiel n° 33. Clément J., Mahieu R., Mathieu F., 2005b, « les familles monoparentales et la précarité », Recherches et Prévisions N° 79 : 49-62. Collinet P., Salesses C., 2010, « Les bénéficiaires d’une aide au logement en 2008 », L’e-ssentiel n° 94, janvier. Conseil économique, social et environnemental, 2009, 1968-2008: évolution et prospective de la situation des femmes dans la société française. Rapport. Cour des comptes, 2010, Les aides publiques apportées aux familles monoparentales, chapitre XVI, Rapport de la Cour des comptes. Cour des comptes, 2006, L’évolution de l’assurance chômage : de l’indemnisation à l’aide au retour à l’emploi, Rapport de la Cour des comptes, mars, 159 p. Daguerre A., Nativel C., 2004, Les maternités précoces, CNAF : Dossiers d’Etudes n° 53. Daguet O., « Enquêtes annuelles de recensement de 2004 à 2006: seul un tiers des ménages compte plus de deux personnes », Insee première n° 1153, juillet. Dang A. T., Outin J-L., Zajdela H., 2006, Travailler pour être intégré? Mutations des relations entre emploi et protection sociale, Paris : Editions du CNRS. Daune-Richard A-M., Letablier M-T., 2011, « L’accueil des enfants: enjeux des réformes et appel aux entreprises dans quatre pays européens », Politiques sociales et familiales, 103, Mars 2011. David O., Eydoux L., Sechet R., Martin C., Millar J., 2004, Les familles monoparentales en eurospe, CNAF Dossier d’études n°54. Delautre G., 2008, « Bilan de dix années de New Deal for Lone parents », Revue française des affaires sociales 2008/1. Deroyon T., 2010, « les allocataires du régime de solidarité nationale entre 2005 et 2008 », Dares-Analyses n° 059. Deroyon T., Rochut J., 2010, « L’indemnisation par le régime d’assurance chômage de 2005 à 2008 », DaresAnalyses n° 058. Drees, 2010, Les minima sociaux en 2008-2009. Années de transition, Paris : Drees. Drees, 2007, « L’accompagnement des allocataires du RMI dans leur parcours d’insertion », Etudes et Résultats n° 599. Eydoux A., Beraud M., 2011, « The impact of activation strategies on social citizenship in France », in Betzelt S. and Bothfeld S. (eds) Challenges to Social Citizenship: Activation and labour Market Reforms in eurospe, Palgrave & MacMillan Editing. Eydoux A., Béraud M., 1999, « L’indemnisation des chômeurs en activité réduite et l’organisation de marchés transitionnels », in L’économie sociale, formes d’organisation et institutions (Tome 1), L’Harmattan, Paris, pp. 359-372. Eydoux A., Letablier M-T., 2009, « Familles monoparentales et pauvreté en eurospe: quelles réponses politiques? L’exemple de la France, de la Norvège et du Royaume-Uni », Politiques sociales et familiales n° 98: 21-36. Eydoux A., Gomel B., Letablier M-T., 2009, « Les salariés ont-ils un employeur Family-Friendly ? », chap. 14 in A. Pailhé et A. Solaz (eds), Entre famille et travail: des arrangements de couple aux pratiques des employeurs, Paris INED/La Découverte, (pp. 325-344). Eydoux A., Gomel B., Letablier M-T., 2008, « Activités sociales et aménagements temporels. L’action des entreprises dans la conciliation travail et famille de leurs salariés », Recherches et Prévisions n° 92 : 9-20. Eydoux A., Letablier M-T., Georges N., 2007, Les familles monoparentales en France. Rapport de recherché n° 36, Centre d’études de l’emploi. Eydoux A., Letablier M-T., Sylla S., 2005, La Conciliation entre travail et vie familiale des parents pauvres ou précaires, Rapport final pour l’Oservatoire de la pauvreté et de l’exclusion sociale, Centre d’études de l’emploi. Fagnani J., Letablier M-T., 2004, « Working time and Family Life: the impact of the 35 hours Laws on the work and family life balance in France », Work, Employment and Society, vol. 18 (3): 551-572.
Garner H., Méda D., Sénic C., 2005, « Conciliation entre vie familiale et vie professionnelle, les leçons des enquêtes auprès des ménages », Travail et Emploi n° 102 : 57-67. Gelot D., Minni C., 2009, « Présence des personnes d’origine étrangère dans les minima sociaux et retour à l’emploi », Politiques sociales et Familiales n° 95 : 45-57. Gonzalez L., Manzuy A., 2009, « En 2007, les salariés à temps complet ont dépassé en moyenne les ‘35 heures’ », Insee première n° 1249, juillet Gurgand M., Letablier M-T., 1999, « Travailler et être au chômage: emploi d'attente ou statut intermédiaire », Quatre pages, Centre d’études de l’emploi. Haut Conseil de la Famille, 2010, Ruptures et discontinuités de la vie familiale. Note n° 1 : veuvage, séparations et isolement du père ou de la mère, adoptée le 8 juillet 2010. Haut Conseil de la Famille, 2010, Ruptures et discontinuités de la vie familiale. L’isolement du père ou de la mère. La lettre n° 3, Juillet. Haut Conseil de la Famille, 2010, Ruptures et discontinuités de la vie familiale. Les séparations et divorces des parents. La lettre n° 5, Juillet. Insee, 2008, Regards sur la parité. Jacquot A. 2002, « Divorce, pension alimentaire et niveau de vie des parents et des enfants: une étude à partir de cas-types », Recherches et Prévisions n°67: 37-62. Jeandidier B., Ray J-Cl., 2006, « Pensions alimentaires pour enfants lors du divorce. Les juges appliquent-ils implicitement un calcul fondé sur le coût de l’enfant? », Recherches et Prévisions n° 84 : 5-18. Kesteman N., 2009, « L’allocation de parent isolé et les obligations alimentaires: les conséquences de la réforme de 2007 », Politiques sociales et familiales n° 95. Kesteman N., 2009, « Opinions des Français sur les politiques familiales et sociales début 2009 », l’e-ssentiel n° 92, novembre. Lefèvre C., Filhon A. (dir.), 2005, Histoires de familles, histoires familiales. Les cahiers de l’INED n° 156, Paris. Lelièvre M., Nauze-Fichet E., 2009, « Le revenu de solidarité active: minimum social et complément de revenu d’activité », in Drees, Les minima sociaux en 2008-2009, années de transition. Drees, Etudes, Recherches et Statistiques, Ministère du travail, de l’emploi et de la santé. Lelièvre M., Nauze-Fichet E., 2008, RMI, l’état des lieux ; 1988-2008. Paris : la Découverte (collection Recherches) Letablier M-T., Eydoux A., Betzelt S., 2011, « Social citizenship and activation in eurospe: a gender perspective », in Betzelt S. and S. Bothfeld (eds), Social citizenship under pressure: The impact of the activating welfare state in eurospe, Palgrave (forthcoming). Letablier M-T., 2011, « La monoparentalité aujourd’hui : continuités et changements » in E. Ruspini (dir.) Monoparentalité, homoparentalité, trans-parentalité en France et en Italie. Paris : l’Harmattan (Logiques sociales). Letablier M-.T, Fagnani J., 2009, Childminders in the French Childcare Policy/*, *eurospean Commission, Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities DG, eurospean expert Group on demography, Best Practice Meeting on Child care by Child minders in France, Brussels 29 June 2009 (CIRCA Platform). Letablier M-T., Klammer U., 2007, “Family Policies in Germany and France: the Role of Enterprises and Social Partners”, Social Policy & Administration, Special Issue: Reforming the Bismarckian Welfare Systems, Vol. 41 (6): 672-692. Letablier M-T., Jonsson I., 2003, “Kinderbetreuung und politische Handlungslogik”, chap. 3, in U. Gerhard, T. Knijn and A. Weckwert (eds) Berufstätige Mütter in eurospa, alltagspraxis und Socialpolitik, Beck Verlag, Franckfurt. Lombardo P., Pujol J., 2010, « Les niveaux de vie en 2008 », Insee Première n° 1311, septembre. Lorgnet G., Pujol J., 2009, « Familles et pauvreté : aspects statiques et dynamiques », Politiques sociales et familiales n° 98, décembre. Mainguelé A., 2011, „Couple, famille, parentlaité, travail des femmes. Les modèles évoluent avec les générations“, INSEE Première n° 1339, mars. Mansuy A., Nouël de la Buzonnière C., 2011, « Une photographie du marché du travail en 2009. Résultats de l’enquête emploi », Insee première n° 1331, Janvier.
Marchand O., 2010, « 50 ans de mutations de l’emploi », Insee Première n° 1312. Martin
C., 1997, « L’action publique en direction des ménages monoparentaux. Une comparaison France/Royaume-Uni », Recherches et Prévisions n° 47 : 25-50.
Mathern S. (avec la coll. de S. Micheaux et N. Augris), 2009, « Les allocataires de minima sociaux en 2007 », Drees : Etudes et Résultats, n° 680. Méda D., Périvier H., 2007, Le 2è âge de l’émancipation. La société, les femmes et l’emploi. Paris: le Seuil (la République des idées). Méda D., Simon M-O., Wierink M., 2003, “Pourquoi certaines femmes s’arrêtent-elles de travailler à la naissance d’un enfant ? », Dares, Premières Synthèses n° 29-2. Moeneclaey J., 2009, Le rapport à l’emploi des familles monoparentales: la France parmi les pays européens. Mémoire de recherche master 2, université Pierre Mendes-France (Grenoble 2). Mozere L., (avec I. Jonas et V. Vinel), 2009, Isolement ou empowerment? Le cas des parents solo ne bénéficiant pas des minima sociaux. Rapport pour la Mire, Ministère des affaires sociales. Neyrand G., 2005, « La résidence alternée, réponse à la reconfiguration de l’ordre familial. Les enjeux d’un débat », Recherches familiales - Dossier thématique: Les lieux de vie des enfants, pp. 83-100. Nicolas M., Boyer D., « Temps d’accueil des jeunes enfants : une standardisation de l’offre ? Etude exploratoire », Politiques sociales et familiales n° 101 : 65-73. Nicolas M., Robert M-J., 2008, « L’allocation aux adultes handicapés », Recherches et Prévisions n° 91 : 109-114. Nicolas M., Tomasini M., 2008, « Conciliation des vies familiale, professionnelle et sociale des allocataires de minima sociaux », Recherches et Prévisions n° 91 : 69-79. Observatoire national de la pauvreté et de l’exclusion sociale, 2010, Bilan de dix ans d’observation de la pauvreté et de l’exclusion sociale à l’heure de la crise. Paris, Le rapport de l’ONPES 2009-2010. Pailhé A., Solaz A. (eds), 2009, Entre famille et travail: des arrangements de couple aux pratiques des employeurs, Paris INED/La Découverte. Pla A., 2007, « Sorties des minima sociaux et accès à l’emploi. Premiers résultats de l’enquête 2006 », Etudes et Résultats n° 567. Ponthieu S., 2009, « la pauvreté des familles : comparaisons européennes », Politiques sociales et familiales n° 98 : Perrier G., 2010, Intégrer l’égalité entre les hommes et les femmes dans la mise en œuvre des politiques de l’emploi : une comparaison entre Berlin et la Seine Saint-Denis, Thèse pour le doctorat de sciences politiques, Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris. Sayn I., 2002, Un barème pour les pensions alimentaires?, Paris: La documentation française. SENAT, 2006, Rapport d’activité 2005-2006 par Mme Gisèle Gautier, n° 388. Tomasini M., 2008, « L’allocation de parent isolé. Profils socio démographiques des bénéficiaires », Recherches et Prévisions n° 91 : 101-108. Toulemon L. et Pennec S., 2008, « Two-home family situations of children and adults in France and Australia: observation and consequences for describing family patterns », paper presented at the Population Association of America 2008 Annual Meeting, New Orleans, 17-19 April. Vivas E., 2008, « Les relations des parents séparés avec leurs enfants adultes », Insee première n° 1196, juin. Vivas E., 2009, « 1,2 million d’enfants de moins de 18 ans vivent dans une famille recomposée », Insee première n° 1259, Octobre. Voisin J., 2009, Développement de la garde des enfants. IGAS, Rapport n° RM2009-033P, Paris: La documentation française.
A. Appendix: Figures and Tables A.1
Table A- 1
Family structure of dependent children in 2006, France
Children in couple family - Living in a “traditional” family - Living in a reconstituted family Children in lone parent family Other person 17 and less (living alone, in couple or elsewhere) Total: children < 18 living in an “ordinary” household
Employment survey (20042007) = Average 2006 Millions % 11.34 84.0 10.15 75.2 1.19 8.8 1.96 14.5
Millions 11.04 9.88 1.16 2.23
% 81.7 73.1* 8.6* 16.5*
Read: in 2006, 11 millions of children aged below 18 lived in a couple-family (=81,7% of all children < 18) Field: population 0-17 at the date of the survey, living in “ordinary” households in metropolitan France. Source: Census 2006 and annual average of employment surveys from 2004 to 2007 (from Chardon & Vivas, 2009) Note: * estimations from a combination of the two sources
Table A- 2
Family structure of Households
Man (living alone) Woman (living alone) Lone parent family Couple childless Couple with children Complex household
1968 6.4 13.8 2.9 21.1 36.0 19.8
1975 7.4 14.8 3.0 22.3 36.5 16.0
1982 8.5 16.0 3.6 23.3 36.1 12.5
1990 10.1 17.1 6.6 23.7 36.4 6.1
1999 12.5 18.5 7.4 24.8 31.5 5.3
Number of households (in thousands)
2005 (age completed) 1 725.5 7 003.1 8 728.5 19.8 84.7
Field: metropolitan France Source: Insee, recensements de la population
Table A- 3
Trends in family structures 1975-2005, France
Lone parent families (thousands) Couples with children ((thousands) Total : Number of families (thousands) % of lone parent families/total families % single mothers families /lone parent families
776.3 7 523.4 8 299.7 9.4 80.6
887.0 7 812.2 8 699.2 10.2 85.4
1 175.4 7 731.4 8 906.8 13.2 86.2
1 493.7 7 110.8 8 604.5 17.4 85.6
Note: children under 25 (age reached during the year, except for 2005). Since 2004, data refer to the age of children “revolu” instead of the age reached during the year. Field: France metropolitan Source: Insee, recensements de la population 1975 à 1999, et enquêtes annuelles de recensement de 2004 à 2006 (Insee, Regards sur la parité, édition 2008)
Table A- 4
Percentage of children under 18 by family structure, France Number (2006)
Children living with their two parents Children living in a reconstituted family Children living in a lone parent family - With a lone mother - With a lone father Other children > 18 (living alone, in couple, away from the family) Total: population of children 0-17 (completed)
10 250 000 780 000 2 240 000 1 940 000 300 000
% on average on the period 2004-2008 75.4 5.8 16.4 14.2 2.2
320 000 13 590 000
Read: in 2006, 10,25 millions of children under 18 years old live with their father and mother, that is 75,4% of all children under 18. Field: population 0-17 (completed) at the date of the survey, living in metropolitan France. Sources: Insee, census 2006 and employment surveys 2004-2007 (Chardon & Vivas, 2009; Vivas, 2009)
Table A- 5
Trends in family structures 1999-2005 (households)
Type of household
All households One person households Households with one family . lone parent families . couple without children . couple with children Complex households
2005 Number of households (thousands ) 25730 8449 15896 1937 6685 7275 1285
1999-2005 (trends) Number of Populatio households n
100.0 32.8 61.8 7.5 26.0 28.3 5.4
59419 8449 46361 4944 13369 28048 4609
+ 8.1 + 14.5 + 4.9 + 10.5 + 13.2 - 3.0 (-)
+ 3.8 + 14.5 + 2.1 + 11.0 + 13.2 - 3.8 (-)
Note: no age limit for children Field: metropolitan France Source: Insee, recensement de population 1999; enquêtes annuelles de recensement de 2004 à 2006 (Insee : Regards sur la parité 2008)
Table A- 6
Family structures, France 1999 In thousands
2007 In thousands
Couples with children Lone parent families Lone mothers Lone fathers Couples without (dependent) children
8 061.5 2 113.6 1 806.5 307.1 63 398.9
48.8 12.8 10.9 1.9 38.4
7 773.5 2 427.1 2 050.4 376.7 7 299.9
44.4 13.9 11.7 2.2 41.7
Field: France Source: Insee, Recensements de population 1999 et 2007
Table A- 7
Age of parents by family type, France (2004-2007) Mean age
Fathers In two parents families In lone parent families In reconstituted families Mothers In two parents families In lone parent families In reconstituted families
Distribution (%) < 30 30-39
50 and +
40.3 43.4 40.3
8.1 3.9 9.0
41.3 29.1 39.4
37.9 46.4 37.9
12.8 20.5 13.7
37.5 38.8 38.2
14.8 13.4 10.8
45.1 37.8 44.8
34.5 40.3 40.3
5.6 8.5 4.2
Read: Mothers in reconstituted families are on average 38,2 years old. Field: families with children under 18 in metropolitan France. Men or women in reconstituted families can be a parent or a step parent. Source: Insee, annual average from the employment survey 2004-2007 (Chardon & Vivas, 2009)
Table A- 8
Lone father + children Lone mother + children Total Lone parent families
Lone parent families by age of the parent, 2007, France Under 20 630
55 – 64
65 and more 110 389
1 714 942 1 898 064
2 492 798 3 008 398
5 354 105
6 316 989
Source: Insee, enquêtes annuelles de recensement (http://www.recensement.insee.fr/tableauxDetailles.action)
Table A- 9
Male/female level of education by type of family, France
% Female level of education High : at least Bac +2 Secondary level (Bac) BEPC,CAP, BEP No diploma Male level of education High : at least Bac +2 Secondary level (Bac) BEPC,CAP, BEP No diploma
Lone parent families
19.8 16.9 38.4 24.8
31.6 19.3 31.1 18.0
20.9 16.4 35.7 27.0
29.1 18.7 32.4 19.9
19.0 14.2 42.9 23.9
26.7 14.6 38.7 20.0
19.0 13.2 43.6 24.2
25.7 14.5 39.2 20.5
Read: 19,8% of women living in a reconstituted family have a high degree of education (at least Bac + 2) whereas 29,1% of women in families are in a similar situation. Field: families with children under 18 in metropolitan France. Men or women heading a reconstituted family may be the parent or the step parent. Source: Insee, annual average from Employment surveys 2004-2007 (Chardon & Vivas, 2009: p. 37)
Table A- 10
Level of education of lone mothers and lone fathers according to two different data sources, France
% Women’s level of education - No diploma - BEPC, CAP, BEP - BAC - Bac +2 and more Men ‘s level of education - No diploma - BEPC, CAP, BEP - BAC - Bac +2 and more
Lone parent families Employment surveys (2004-07) Census 2004-2007 28 35 26 16 34 21 17 23 26 43 13 18
23 40 14 23
Read: 28% of lone mothers have no diploma at all according to the employment survey, but 26% of lone mothers are in this situation according to the new census Field: families with children under 25 in metropolitan France. Source: Insee, employment surveys 2004-2007 and census surveys 2004-2007 (Chardon & Vivas, 2009: p. 37)
Table A- 11
Level of education and employment status of lone mothers and mothers living in couple, France Lone mothers
University degree In the labour market Unemployed ... among which long term unemployed Working part time ... but wish to work more In precarious employment (*) Professionals, highly qualified jobs Blue collars and clerks
23 % 80 % 15 % 57 % 26 % 47 % 16 % 30 % 64 %
Mothers in couple, with children 30 % 74 % 8% 38 % 34 % 25 % 10 % 35 % 59 %
Source: Enquêtes jeunes et carriers et Familles et employeurs (traitement INED); enquête emploi 2004 ; enquêtes annuelles de recensement insee (cf. La lettre du haut conseil à la famille, n° 03, juillet 2010) Note : (*) – short term contracts, apprenticeship, subsidized jobs, « stages ».
Table A- 12
Percentage of children by family type and age of children (children aged < 18), France
Type of family /age of children (%) Living with the two parents Living in a reconstituted family Living in a lone parent family Living without any parent Total
0-6 82.2 7.2 10.1 0.5 100.0
Age 7-13 72.8 9.9 16.6 0.7 100.0
14-17 66.9 9.8 19.0 4.4 100.0
Read: 82,2% of children aged below 6 live with their two parents, 7,2% in a reconstituted family, 10,1% in a lone parent family and 0,5% without any parent. Field: Metropolitan France, children aged from 0 to 17 years (completed) Source: Insee, employment surveys 2004-2007 (average) (Chardon & Vivas, 2009)
Table A- 13
Number of children by type of family, 2005 Lone parent families Lone mothers Lone fathers Total lone parents 1 486 272 1 758 2 436 408 2 844 1.6 1.5 1.6
Number of families (thousands) Number of children (thousands) Average number of children by family Number of children /family (%) 1 child 2 children 3 children 4 children and more total Children by age (%) 0-2 years 3-6 years 7-16 years 17-24 years Total of children
Couples with children 7 014 13 185 1.9
55 31 10 4 100
63 28 7 2 100
56 30 10 4 100
39 41 15 5 100
8 16 49 27 100
4 11 49 36 100
8 15 49 28 100
15 19 45 21 100
Field: France (metropolitan), households, families with children under 25 years Source: Insee, enquêtes annuelles de recensement de 2004 à 2007
Table A- 14
Families with children by type of family and number of children, 2005
Total (thousands) Total (% of families with children) Couples % Lone parent F. % Of which lone fathers % Of which lone mothers %
3 children 1 236
4 children and + 409
42.6 39.1 56.4 62.9 55.3
38.6 40.6 30.3 27.4 30.8
Total 8 729
14.2 15.3 9.7 7.4 10.1
4.7 5.0 3.6 2.2 3.8
100 100 100 100 100
Field: France métropolitaine Note : children aged from 0 to 24 years completed at the time of the census Source: Insee, enquêtes annuelles de recensement de 2004 à 2006
Table A- 15
Percentage of children by age and family type, 2005
Age of children Total (thousands) Total (%) Couples (%) Lone parent F. (of which: - Lone father F. (%) - Lone mother F. (%)
0-2 years 2 175 100.0 90.1 9.9 0.8 9.1
2 965 100.0 85.8 14.2 1.5 12.7
7 308 100.0 81.3 18.7 2.6 16.1
3 527 100.0 77.6 22.4 4.1 18.3
15 975 100.0 82.5 17.5 2.5 15.0
1 323 100.0 59.9 40.1 6.2 33.9
17 298 100.0 80.8 19.2 2.8 16.5
Field: metropolitan France Source: Insee, enquêtes annuelles de recensement de 2004 à 2006
Table A- 16
Less than 5 years Less than 10 years Less than 15 years Less than 20 years 20 years and more
Number of years before reconstituting a family after death of a spouse, divorce or separation After death of the partner (%) Hommes Femmes
After divorce or separation (%) Hommes Femmes
38 29 15 9 9
43 25 14 8 10
25 27 18 12 18
40 24 15 9 12
Read : 38% of men form another couple less than 5 years after death of the partner. 40% of women form another couple within the 5 years following divorce or separation Source: Insee 2008, quoted by Haut Conseil de la Famille 2010: p. 10
Table A- 17
Housing conditions of lone parent families
Number of families (in thousands) Share of families living … - In a household owning the dwelling - In a house - With other people - In social housing % of families living in a dwelling where … - One more room is needed - Two more rooms are needed
Lone parent families Mothers Fathers 1486 272
Couple families with children 7014
28 36 9 38
48 54 17 24
63 68 3 14
Field: Metropolitan France, adults with children under 25 Source: Insee, enquêtes annuelles de recensement de 2004 à 2007 (Chardon et al., 2008 :p 3)
Table A- 18
Poverty and median income by types of families, France, 2008 Poverty rate (%)
Single person Lone parent family Couple without children Couple with one child Couple with 2 children Couple with 3 children and + Other households Total
16.9 30.0 6.7 7.8 8.6 19.7 20.0
Poverty indicators Number of Poverty poor intensity (thousands) (%) 1 510 1 640 983 701 1 076 1 505 420
20.4 20.3 15.3 20.4 16.3 17.4 24.7
Median income (net) Share of Median the income population (euros/year) (%) 14.8 17 170 9.1 14 060 24.2 21 770 14.9 21 260 20.8 19 760 12.7 16 360 3.5 17 270 100.0 18 990
Field: individuals living in France metropolitaine in households who fills up the fiscal sheet Note: Poverty threshold at 60% of the median income. The Poverty rate is the proportion of individuals with an income lower than the poverty threshold (= 949 euros per month in France in 2008) Source: Insee-DGFip-Cnaf-CCMSA, enquête revenus fiscaux et sociaux 2008 (cf. Lombardo & Pujol, 2010)
Table A- 19
Median income (gross/net) of lone parent households, 2006 Equivalent income before taxes and benefits *
Lone parent families - With 1 child - With 2 children - With 3 children and + - Aat least 1 child No child 1 child 2 children and > No child With children
Recipients of ‘minima sociaux’ Number of Structure (%) households 283 000 11 93 000 4 85 000 3 87 000 3 906 000 35 179 000 7 192 000 7
Structure of the total population
578 000 208 000 2 611 000
8 3 100
22 8 100
26 8 10 4 34 3 3
Read: in 2008, according to the INES model, 283 000 couples without children were eligible to at least one of the ‘minima sociaux’. These couples constitute 11% of the households receiving ‘minima sociaux’, whereas 26% of these households are couples without children. Field: Households in metropolitan France Sources: enquête Revenus fiscaux et sociaux 2006 (actualized 2008), modèle IES, calculs Drees (in Drees, 2010)
Table A- 29
Parents in couple Lone parents - Lone fathers - Lone mothers
Situation in 2006 of parents in receipt of social benefits in 2004 RMI
52.8 47.2 8.3 91.7
18.2 81.8 0.4 99.6
15.6 84.4 2.0 98.0
71.2 84.4 19.7 80.3
Note : RMI: revenu minimum d’insertion (minimum income) ; API: allocation de parent isolé (lone parent allowance); ASS: allocation de solidarité spécifique (unemployment assistance) The API ‘long’ is provided to pregnant women or to parents with a very young child. Entitlement is until the 3 years of the child. Entitlement to the API ‘short’ is for a maximum of one year. Read: In June 2006 (date of the survey), 52,8 % of parents recipients of the RMI in 2004 live in couple whereas 47,2 % are lone parents (women in 91,7% of cases). Source: Enquête Drees 2006, Ministère du Travail, des Relations sociales et de la Solidarité (in Nicolas and Tomasini, 2008: p. 71).
Table A- 30
Distribution of the recipients of benefits according to their sociodemographic characteristics (in %), 2006 API
Sex Men Women
Age 25-29 30-44 45-54 55 et +
50.5 44.2 4.5 0.9
1.0 26.9 31.0 41.1
17.3 45.2 23.8 13.7
12.0 39.7 26.1 22.2
33.2 17.7 30.5 12.8 5.8
26.3 22.8 30.9 9.7 10.3
33.3 18.2 25.8 9.8 13.0
16.4 15.6 25.5 15.6 26.8
Education Without diplôme CEP, BEPC CAP, BEP Baccalauréat Diplôme du supérieur
Source : enquêtes emploi 2006; enquête Drees 2006 auprès des allocataires (in Gélot et Minni, 2009 , p. 50),
Table A- 31
Employment status by type of families (%)
Women employment status - Employed - Unemployed - Non employed (inactive) Men employment status - Employed - Unemployed - Non employed Number of employed adults in the family - Two - One - Zero
Lone parent families
Two parents families
67.7 13.6 18.8
70.9 6.0 23.0
66.4 9.3 24.4
80.7 9.0 10.4
90.5 4.5 5.0
85.5 6.7 7.8
65.9 29.4 4.7
56.3 36.1 7.6
Read: 67,7% of lone mothers are employed and 13,6% are unemployed Field: families with children aged from 0 to 17 years (completed) in metropolitan France. Men and women in reconstituted families can be a parent or a step parent. Source: Insee, annual mean from census survey 2004-2007 (cf. Chardon & Daguet, 2009)
Table A- 32
Labor force participation of the population aged from 25 to 49 years by family situation and number of dependent children (%) Activity rate
25 to 49 years old (%) Employment Employed rate part-time *
Men (total) Women (total)
Unemployed / non employed ** 72.6 44.6
Men (single) Women (Single) Women with children Women in couple and no children Women in couple with children: total - 1 child - 2 children - 3 and more children
93.5 92.6 83.6 89.1
81.5 82.5 72.9 80.2
6.5 13.3 33.7 19.7
70.7 66.3 40.3 48.7
82.7 89.1 84.8 66.2
73.5 79.7 76.5 55.5
35.0 26.5 38.4 47.0
35.5 47.9 35.9 24.6
Lone mothers: total - 1 child - 2 children - 3 and more children
88.5 92.3 88.9 72.6
70.2 75.5 70.6 48.9
26.8 22.9 29.7 40.2
62.5 70.3 63.4 47.0
Note: * % of the employed who work part-time ; ** non employed= unemployed + no activity; Pensioners and students excluded Field: Metropolitan France, population o f households from 15 to 65 years Source: Insee, enquêtes annuelles de recensement 2004 à 2007 (in Chardon & Daguet, 2008: p. 2)
Table A- 33
Working time of women with children by type of family, France Full time 62.2 67.1 71.8
‘Traditionnal’ family Reconstituted family Lone parent family
Part-time 37.8 32.9 28.2
Read: 62,2% of mothers in a ‘traditionnal’ family work full time. Field: families with children under 18 in metropolitan France. Source: Insee, employment surveys 2004-2007 (annual average) (from Chardon & Vivas, 2009: p 39)
Table A- 34
Mothers’ Part time work by type of occupation (%) Part-time rate * Lone mothers Mothers in couple families (with children) 39 43 23 35 18 32 16 26 13 15 26 34
Unskilled workers Skilled workers Middle management occupations Managers and executives Farmers, craft workers, traders Total Note: * Part-time jobs in % of the total of jobs
Field: Metropolitan France, mothers of children aged < 25, in employment Source: Insee, enquêtes annuelles de recensement 2004 à 2007 (cf. Chardon, Daguet et Vivas, 2008)
Table A- 35
Earnings from work by household type, France, 2001
Lone parent families 1 child 2 children 3 + children with children < 3 y. without children < 3 y. Couples with children earnings of mother Earnings of both partners
No earnings 23.2 19.5 22.6 40.4 45.3 20.2
up to ½ SMIC 10.0 9.5 10.1 11.8 11.2 9.8
Income from work ½-1 1 – 1,5 SMIC 1, 5 SMIC 13.5 18.7 12.9 19.1 13.7 19.7 15.8 14.6 15.4 13.0 13.3 19.4
Field: non-married children aged < 25 Source: INSEE-DGI, 2001, Enquête revenues fiscaux (Algava et al. 2005)
1,5 – 2 SMIC 16.2 18.8 15.3 7.3 8.7 17.2
More than 2 SMIC 18.4 20.2 18.6 9.8 6.4 20.0
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100
Table A- 36
Composition of annual income before tax, by type of household and employment status
Type of houshold + employment status
Single Single Men, inactive Single Men, working Single Women, inactive Single Women, working Lone parents Lone father Lone mother, inactive Lone mother, working Couples Both partners inactive - with our without children Man inactive, woman working - with our without children Man working, woman inactive – without children Man working, woman inactive – with 1 child Man working, woman inactive – with 2 children Man active, woman inactive – with 3 or more children Both partners working, without children Both partners working, with 1 child Both partners working, with 2 children Both partners working, with 3 or more children Total households < 65 years
Income from work
in % of income before taxes Pensions Unearned Family and income housing benefits
Minimum income benefits*
in € Income before taxes
83,7 30,9 96,4 23,3 92,3 71,5 81,0 37,2 76,0 86,6 33,3
9,0 48,0 -1,6 60,8 2,4 9,1 4,6 22,0 7,6 6,2 56,6
2,0 2,9 1,4 4,5 1,9 1,6 4,2 2,0 0,9 2,4 4,7
2,5 6,3 1,9 4,7 1,9 13,6 8,1 24,6 12,7 3,8 2,2
2,2 11,3 1,3 5,9 0,9 3,7 1,7 13,7 2,2 0,6 2,7
18 843 14 089 20 074 15 308 19 616 24 673 28 673 20 630 24 835 42 366 32 133
Note : The income sum is slightly less than 100% since a small share of persons also receives a ‘prime pour l’emploi’ (tax benefit); this benefit varies, on average, between 0,1 and 0,4 of the total income, depending on the type of household *The minimum income benefits (‘minima sociaux’) include the ‘minimum vieillesse/APSA’ (benefit for persons aged 65+), the AAH (benefit for handicapped persons), the RMI (social assistance, until 2008) and the API (lone parent allowance, until 2008). Field: households whose reference person is aged below 65 and whose declared income is positive or zero, except students and retired persons Source: Insee-DGI, Enquête revenus fiscaux 2004
Table A- 37
Employment by sex and socio-professional category, 2008 (%) % of the female employment 1.1 3.8 13.4 25.4 47.4 8.9 100.0
Farmers Craft and retail trade workers Excecutive and high education workers Middle managers and occupations Office workers Factory workers Total
% of the male employment 2.4 8.3 18.7 22.7 13.1 34.8 100.0
% of women in the employed population 29.6 29.1 39.0 50.1 76.4 18.7 47.2
Field : Employed population 15-64 uears old, in metropolitan France Source: Insee, enquêtes emploi 2008
Table A- 38
Employment by sex and occupations, 2008 (%)
Occupations Cleaning operatives Teachers Low skilled civil services employees Sales workers Home care workers
% of the female employed population 7.2 6.0
% of the male employed population 2.9 2.9
Share of women (%) 69.2 65.0
5.8 5.2 4.0
1.7 1.5 0.1
75.4 76.0 97.9
4.0 3.9 3.6 3.4
0.1 0.4 0.5 0.0
98.0 90.7 86.8 99.1
3.3 2.6 2.6
1.5 0.4 0.8
66.4 85.5 74.8
51.7 48.3 100.0
12.7 87.3 100.0
78.5 33.1 47.2
Secretaries Nursing auxiliaries Nurses and mid wifes Child minders Social care, cultural and sport occupations Accounting employees Office clerks Total of the 12 occupations Other occupations Total of the 86 occupations
Read: 12 on 86 occupations represent half of the occupations by women (51,7%). The occupation in which the highest number of women is employed is the “agents d’entretien” (878 000 women in this occupation). Source: Insee, enquêtes employ 2008
Table A- 39
Working time of men and women, 2007
Average number of hours of work per year (hours) Share of part-time workers (%) Average quantity of part time (%) Average working hours for a full time employee
1700 4.1 58 1730
1430 31.3 63 1600
Field: wage earners except teachers Source: Insee, enquêtes emploi 2007 (in Gonzalez et Manzuy, 2009)
Table A- 40
Part time work by sex and number of hours
Full time Part-time - Less than 15 hours - 15 to 29 hours - 30 hours and more Total Number (in milliers)
% of women
70.1 29.9 4.8 16.2 8.7 100.0 12 203
94.0 6.0 1.1 3.2 1.5 100.0 13488
82.7 17.3 2.8 9.4 4.9 100.0 25 691
40.3 81.9 79.7 82.0 84.0 47.5
Read: on average in 2009, 16,2% of employed women were working part-time for a number of hours between 15 and 29 hours per week. 82% of part-timers working between 15 and 29 hours per week are women. Field: metropolitan France, population in employment aged 15 years and over. Source: Insee, enquêtes emploi 2009
Table A- 41
Employment status of men and women, 2009 Men Number Share (in 1.000) %
Non salaried workers employees Agency workers Apprentiship Temporary workers Permanent workers Total
1924 11564 288 237 794 10245 13488
14.3 85.7 2.1 1.8 5.9 76.0 100.0
Women Number Share (in 1.000) % 893 11311 131 114 1310 9557 12203
7.3 92.7 1.1 0.9 10.7 79.9 100.0
Field : working population aged 15 and more living in metropolitan France Source: Insee, enquêtes emploi 2009 (in Mansuy et Nouël de la Buzonnière, 2011)
Total Number Share (in 1.000) % 2816 22875 419 351 2103 20001 25691
11.0 89.0 1.6 1.4 8.2 77.9 100.0
Family related services
Table A- 42
Children aged below 3 by principal childcare arrangement during the week (%) Parents Grands parents Childminder Nursery School Home Care by a or other family (‘Assistante paid nurse member maternelle’)
Employment status of parents At least one parent inactive or unemployed One parent working parttime < 50% One parent working parttime > 50% Both parents working fulltime
Part des enfants de -3 ans dans la population
34 42 65
6 9 10
36 28 15
20 14 5
20 14 1
3 4 1
1 0 0
100 100 100
17 20 4
Mother’s occupation Farmer, craft or retail trade worker Managers, Executives and high level occupations Midle occupations Office worker Facrory worker Household type Couple
Number of children living in household
City < 50.000 inhabitants
City: 50 000 to < 200 000
City 200 000 to < 2 000 000
1 child 2 cildren 3 + children
Size of municipality
Note : * from Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. **The equivalent income (« niveau de vie ») is the monthly income of the household divided by the number of consumption units according to the OECD modified scale ( 1 unit for first adult, 0,5 for other adults, 0,3 for children aged below 14). Read : among children aged below 3 whose two parents work full-time, 37% are mainly cared for by a childminder during the week. Field : Metropolitan France Sources : Enquête Modes de garde et d’accueild es jeunes enfants, DREES, 2007 (Ananian et Robert-Bobée, 2009)
Table A- 43
Change between 2002 and 2007 with regard to children aged below 3 by principal childcare arrangement during the week (in percentage points)
Equivalent income of household
Parents Grands parents or other family member
Childminder Nursery (Assistante maternelle agréée )
Home Care by a paid nurse
Field : Metropolitan France Sources : Enquêtes moded e garde et d’accueil des jeunes enfants 2002 et 2007, DREES (Ananian et RobertBobée, 2009)
Table A- 44
Average number of hours spent in childcare during the week*, children aged > 3
Parents Grands parents or other family members Childminder (Assistante maternelle) Nursery School Home care by a paid nurse Total
Principal childcare arrangement 47 :35 37 :17
Secondary childcare arrangement 15 :45 10 :04
36 :52 38 :14 30 :04 43 :19 37 :01
18 :04 12.02 14 :45 15:21 9:07
* from Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Read : Children aged below 3 who are mainly cared for by a dhilcminder spend on average 36 :53 hours with her between Monday and Friday. If the childminder is only the secondary childcare arrangement, the children spend on average 18 :04 hours with her. Field : Metropolitan France Source : Enquêtes Modes de garde des jeunes enfants , DREES, 2007 (Ananian et Robert-Bobée, 2009)
Table A- 45
Attitudes towards family/social policy, 1999, 2005* Total population
Only recipients of family benefits
Respondants who are not recipient of family benefits
The poorest families
Medium income families
Large families (3 and + children)
Working parents with young children
Note: * the question was: “Les aides aux familles sont versées à des foyers ayant des compositons très différentes. Si vous deviez décider despriorités à accorder à la politique familiale , quelles familles pensez-vous qu’il faudrait aider en priorité ? » Source : CREDOC, Enquêtes « Conditions de vie et Aspirations des Français », 1999 et 2005 (tables 16 and 30 respectively)