Following the outbreak of COVID-19, the labour market is characterised by significant uncertainty. Many businesses are unable to plan effectively for how they will trade through the months ahead; a substantial number of workers are unclear how their role might change or whether they will even have a job in the near future; and policymakers are still establishing exactly what kind of support will be needed for employers and employees over the months ahead.
Within this context, many workers are facing acute insecurity. Lay-offs, reductions in pay and changes in working patterns can have a significant impact on financial and personal wellbeing. For some, this insecurity will be a new experience triggered by the crisis and surrounding social distancing measures, while for others it will be exacerbating already precarious working lives.
As businesses work to find a secure footing over the months ahead, it’s crucial that we avoid a race to the bottom in working conditions in the UK. This paper marks the launch of a new research programme which aims to understand how the COVID-19 crisis is impacting job security, and what businesses, policymakers and workers can do to protect and enhance job quality during and after the crisis.
We will be sharing our plans for this new research programme here over the coming months. If you’d like more information about our research or would like to discuss opportunities for working together, please get in touch.