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Welfare and Employment

Demographic, economic and social changes are having a profound impact on the future of our welfare system.  This project considers some of these dimensions with reference to previous work on the Developmental Welfare State (2005) and Moving from Welfare to Work: Low work intensity households and the quality of supportive services (2018).  Specifically, this project will follow a number of lines of enquiry:

  • The social welfare system and the self-employed – discusses the extent to which the self-employed are included in the social welfare system;
  • The changing nature of work – considers how paid work is changing, particularly in relation to part-time, atypical and precarious work and the implications for the welfare system.  Also relevant here is the role that activation plays in supporting people back to work, and how that is done, as well as the use of in-work supports;
  • A more integrated welfare system? – looks at social insurance and social assistance trends and reviews if, and how, the social welfare system could become more integrated.  Also relevant to this discussion is the broader context of universal payments, tax reliefs and the role of services.
  • Gender and Family – assesses how family forms are changing, the implications of greater female participation in the labour force, and ongoing challenges of balancing work and family commitments for the social welfare system.

Further work will also be undertaken on (i) ‘Welfare, income and wealth’ which will explore the interaction of the tax and welfare system in redistributing income; and (ii) ‘Participation’ which will look at possible ways of increasing participation in the labour market.


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