Labour Market Policy

In recent years, social security benefits for people below official retirement age have increasingly been made conditional on participation in welfare to work programmes and other work-focused activities. This shift, often described as a move from passive to active welfare, has been targeted not only on unemployed people, but also on economically inactive claimants such as lone parents and incapacity (disability) benefit recipients. Meanwhile, in-work social security benefits and tax credits have been increasingly used to help make work pay and to tackle working poverty. 

Current research focuses on various dimensions of labour market policies as well as work and welfare more generally. This includes analysis of people on the margins of the labour market and research addressing various policy dimensions around migrants’ access to labour markets. Researchers in OISP are also investigating labour market segmentation and its political implications, labour market reforms and the role of unions. Much of this research is comparative and international in nature.