Covid-19, self-employment and homeworking

The sudden closure of businesses and tight social distancing restrictions on the movement of people in the attempt to slow down the spread of Covid-19 is having unprecedented effects on employment and businesses activity. Employment in non-food personal and domestic services is directly affected since customers are required to stay at home except for essential shopping for food and medical supplies, and where possible work from home, and so no longer permitted to use these services.

Darja Reuschke together with Andrew Henley (Cardiff University) investigated the likely impact of the current crisis on the self-employed. Using the most recently available employment data for the United Kingdom, this study estimated which groups are most likely to be affected by the current crisis amongst both employees and the self-employed, whether homeworking is helping to cushion adverse employment effects and how the employment effects may vary by regions.

The findings of their report show that the self-employed and particularly self-employed women are hit by the crisis. Homeworking decreases the risk of employees to be directly affected by the crisis, but not for the self-employed. The regional effect is significantly different for paid employment and self-employment. Findings suggest that the current crisis increases social inequality in employment and the spatial inequality in entrepreneurial activities.

The full report can be accessed here: https://www.enterpriseresearch.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/ERC-Insight-Covid-19-and-self-employment-in-the-UK.pdf

Please also see Darja Reuschke’s presentation on Covid-19: Covid-19 and the predicted employment pandemic in the UK. Seminar given to the Faculty of Environment and Health Sciences on 30th April 2020

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