Social protection of non-standard workers and the self-employed during the pandemic. Country chapters: Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Sweden

121 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2021

See all articles by Slavina Spasova

Slavina Spasova

European Social Observatory (OSE)

Dalila Ghailani

European Social Observatory (OSE)

Sebastiano Sabato

Observatoire Social Européen

Bart Vanhercke

European Social Observatory (OSE)

Date Written: October 22, 2021

Abstract

The Covid‑19 pandemic severely affected some categories of non-standard workers, and particularly the self‑employed. The emergency measures cushioned the potentially disastrous effect on their social circumstances, but undeniably highlighted even more the gaps in their access and entitlement to social protection benefits

While the first report of this joint project of the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) and the European Social Observatory (OSE) mapped the measures taken in relation to unemployment benefits, sickness benefits and leave for non-standard workers and the self‑employed (Spasova et al. 2021), this edited volume comprises eight country case studies: Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania and Sweden.


These case studies have been produced by independent national experts. They looked into the country-specific situation regarding access to social protection for these categories of workers during the pandemic and provide a detailed description of the measures taken regarding unemployment benefits, sickness benefits and leave, as well as an initial assessment of their effects. This assessment – although currently only partial, as the pandemic measures are still on‑going and research is scarce − is a valuable contribution, describing the main issues encountered by some specific labour market groups regarding access to social protection.

Importantly, the country chapters also discuss the involvement of trade unions in the development of the recent measures, and in the country’s response to the 2019 EU Council Recommendation on access to social protection. They also consider future perspectives and ways to improve access to social protection.

Keywords: epidemic disease ; precarious employment ; self employed ; social protection ; unemployment benefit ; cash sickness benefit ; trade union attitude ; Belgium ; France ; Ireland ; Italy ; Lithuania ; Portugal ; Romania ; Sweden

Suggested Citation

Spasova, Slavina and Ghailani, Dalila and Sabato, Sebastiano and Vanhercke, Bart, Social protection of non-standard workers and the self-employed during the pandemic. Country chapters: Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Sweden (October 22, 2021). ETUI Research Paper - Report 2021.05, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3947723 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3947723

Slavina Spasova (Contact Author)

European Social Observatory (OSE)

B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

Dalila Ghailani

European Social Observatory (OSE)

B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

Sebastiano Sabato

Observatoire Social Européen ( email )

B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

Bart Vanhercke

European Social Observatory (OSE)

B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

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