Work and Pensions

Profound demographic change and the transformation of welfare will underpin the domestic public policy debate for decades.

Reform brings considerable expertise and insight into these critical areas, currently administered by the UK’s largest public service department with around 19 million claimants and customers. Understanding these important public policy drivers will play a key role when addressing public service reform in health, care, housing, income and for intergenerational fairness issues.

Publications

29th April 2020

Working through it: Assessing state employment support responses to the coronavirus

The coronavirus has produced a once-in-a-generation economic challenge, threatening business and employment across every sector of the economy. In response, countries across the world have implemented policies of state support to allow companies to maintain employees, even if they cannot work due to lockdown restrictions.

This Reform Ideas sets the UK’s Job Retention Scheme against comparable countries’ programmes of support and, while initially successful, outlines how the scheme can adopt measures already in place elsewhere to make it more flexible and allow for support to distributed more fairly across the economy.

Press

Reform think tank responds to the Chancellor’s Winter Economy Plan      

Serious risk that new jobs plan won’t work, says think tank

Responding to Chancellor’s statement, Aidan Shilson-Thomas, Senior Researcher, Reform think tank, said:

“The Government’s new scheme is rightly trying to prevent a looming jobs bloodbath without propping up zombie jobs. It is not clear they have found that balance.

“This follow up to furlough has an in-built disincentive for employers, unlike the schemes in Germany and France where the State alone covers the costs of hours not worked. Why would an employer, struggling to stay afloat and uncertain when the economic tide will change, pay this additional cost? Many may opt for simply reducing workers’ hours without top up or proceeding with redundancy.

“Particularly worrying, the Chancellor does not seem to have allocated any further funding for retraining and upskilling, despite the fact that unemployment looks set to keep rising. This is a black hole in the Government’s thinking.”