The government needs to offer support to single-parent families as pressure will not work, a source states.

Kate Bell, head of policy for Gingerbread|One Parent Families, a charity, states the current approach from the government towards getting single parents back into work is not the right one.

The government’s recent report – No-one written off: Reforming welfare to reward responsibility – states from 2010 lone parents with children over the age of seven will be required to look for paid work.

"We know most single parents want to work but we think that the approach of more pressure won’t work and instead the government should be offering more support," she adds.

Ms Bell added that the charity is concerned people will stop claiming benefits as it is the most vulnerable parents who will face sanctions.

She adds that the system will not work as Jobcentre Plus will be put under too much pressure and will not be able to give individual support.

The Trades Union Congress analysis of the Office for National Statistics labour market data states that the rate of increase in unemployment is steep in relation to previous years.