Work, welfare and housing

In this strand, we aim to explore patterns and factors around employment and social security across the UK, as well as the impacts they may have on health in Scotland.

Lead: Professor Nick Bailey, University of Glasgow

This strand draws on administrative data from a range of sources to explore different dimensions of social welfare including material living standards and health, and their relationships with (paid) work.

  • It examines inequalities in access to employment and self-employment, in the stability of work and in progression over time, as well as the incomes from work. 
  • It looks at the operation of the welfare benefit system for those of working age, both for the unemployed and those who face additional barriers to work due to health problems or disability. We are particularly interested in how the welfare system can support positive re-entry to employment for those out of work and improve longer-term labour market outcomes.
  • Lastly, the strand focuses on housing status as one aspect of material living standards. It explores the factors which shape access to home ownership in particular, including employment status or history as well as family background.

A closely-related project 'Investigating Socioeconomic Household and Environmental Risk' is examining a range of socio-economic risk factors for COVID-19. These include the influence of occupation and household circumstances. Plans for future work include a study of the long-term consequences of COVID-19 for the labour market.

At the core of much of this work is accessing data from UK government, notably the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). We will support and build on efforts by ADR UK to build ‘research ready datasets’ from DWP and HMRC data. Some of our work will therefore have a UK-wide focus. At other times, notably when examining relationships with health, our focus may be on the Scottish situation, reflecting the greater access to that data here.