Social Security Innovation for Inclusive Worker Support During the Corona Crisis?

Sonja Bekker, Janine Leschke

Research output: Other contributionNet publication - Internet publicationResearch


Labour market flexibility has increased over the past decades with a growing variety in types of employment relationships. This may be qualified as a transition from segmented to fragmented labour markets which Eurofound describes as an ‘increase in forms of work and employment which differ from the ‘standard employment relationship’ of permanent, full-time, socially secure employment’.
Very flexible forms of employment such as marginal employment, zero-hours contracts, casual work and solo self-employment are particularly problematic from the viewpoint of employment stability, earnings and social security.
The sudden shock of the corona crisis emphasizes the coverage gaps many workers face when they lose their jobs or income through self-employment. Such coverage gaps have also been addressed prior to the Corona pandemic. The past months, many governments implemented emergency measures in order to provide income support for the different types of fragmented workers who are poorly covered under the current regulations.
We illustrate such measures in Germany and the Netherlands, two affluent countries which are characterized by fragmented employment. We ask which lessons may be drawn for inclusive social security after the crisis; are the new types of support comprehensive enough to uphold after the crisis?
We focus on measures which are relevant for fragmented workers, and scrutinize these in view of their inclusiveness. These measures are set in a framework of large government recovery packages enacted in both Germany and the Netherlands complemented by social partner measures (see also Eurofound’s Covid-19 EU PolicyWatch).
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2020
Place of PublicationTübingen
PublisherEberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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