Institute for Employment Studies

Low-income families: Employment and financial impacts of the coronavirus pandemic






May to August 2020

Grant Awarded



Project overview

The project aims to:

  • Improve understanding of the employment and financial impacts of the crisis on low-income working households and their future support needs;
  • Help shape employment policy and the employer response;
  • Begin to build consensus and develop practical proposals for supporting those most impacted to improve incomes, be supported in work, and/ or re-enter employment.

The project will involve:

Rapid modelling of the impacts of the shutdown

Detailed analysis of the nature and extent of low paid work in geographical and occupational ‘hotspots’ that have seen the largest falls in demand since the crisis began. This will draw on real-time, online vacancy data to identify these hotspots, and will enable governments and stakeholders to focus their response to the crisis.

In-depth analysis of the needs of affected low-income workers

Using this analysis as a sampling frame to conduct 40 in-depth interviews with low-income workers in key occupations and/ or areas who have been affected by the crisis, for example, furloughed or made redundant.

Options development

Develop options for how government, employers and support need to respond.

Consultation and engagement

Conduct 20 in-depth interviews and three online roundtables with policymakers, employer bodies and other stakeholders.

Outputs and dissemination

Three reports will be produced during the course of the work.