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Employment and COVID-19 inquiry launched by Lords Economic Affairs Committee

The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, chaired by Lord Forsyth of Drumlean, today invites written contributions to its new inquiry on employment and COVID-19.

The Committee will examine the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the labour market and consider what urgent measures should be taken to protect and create jobs. It will also examine how the labour market may change as a result of the pandemic in the longer term. The Committee intends to make recommendations to the Government.

The Committee is seeking answers to the following questions:

  • What steps should be taken to protect and create jobs over the next two years? What trade-offs should be considered?
  • What barriers to entering employment could be removed to support the labour market recovery?
  • Which sectors are likely to experience the most change in supply and demand?
  • To what extent should any future intervention by the Government in the labour market be targeted sectorally and/or regionally?
  • What lessons can be learned from previous recessions and active labour market policy interventions in the UK? What lessons can be learned from schemes and interventions that have been implemented in other countries?
  • What steps should be taken to create a sustainable recovery over the medium and longer term?
  • How should the Government support training and skills development?
  • What positive and negative trends in employment may have been accelerated as a result of COVID-19?

Lord Forsyth of Drumlean, Chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee, said:

“COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on the economy and people's livelihoods. Our Committee's inquiry will focus on measures that could help protect and create jobs. We will then make our recommendations to Government in due course.

“To inform our work we want to hear from as broad a range of people as possible. If you have a view on employment in the context of the COVID-19 crisis, look at our call for evidence and let us know what you think.”

The deadline for the submission of written evidence is 10 September 2020. 

Click here to read the call for evidence and find out how to submit evidence.

In the last two years the Economic Affairs Committee has published reports on Universal Credit, social care, High Speed 2, measuring inflation and post-school education. Following the publication of these reports the Government announced a review of its own social care policy and an independent review of High Speed 2. 

The Committee's post-school education report called for a change to how student loans are recorded in the public finances. Within six months of publication the Office for National Statistics did just that and reclassified as public spending the amount of student loans expected not to be repaid.

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