More equal working lives? An assessment of New Labour policies

McKnight Abigail

in Towards a more equal society?

Published by Policy Press

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9781847422026
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447304036 | DOI:
More equal working lives? An assessment of New Labour policies

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  • Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility


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This chapter considers the impact of New Labour policies on inequalities in the labour market, focusing in particular on the experiences of previously disadvantaged groups: younger and older workers, the long-term unemployed, lone parents, disabled persons, and women. While New Labour did not set out to reduce inequality in the labour market as a main policy objective, it has tackled inequality in employment rates as the result of a number of major policy objectives and through setting a range of targets. The three main targets are: to achieve ‘full employment’ through the Employment Opportunity for All agenda; to eradicate child poverty by 2020; and to reach a 70% employment rate among lone parents by 2010. While policies designed to meet these targets have had an impact on the unequal distribution of work across individuals and households, they have not addressed labour-market inequality in terms of earnings inequality.

Keywords: labour market; unemployment; disabled persons; earning inequality

Chapter.  8142 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility

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