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Will COVID crisis lead to mass unemployment? Lords Committee to ask CBI and TUC

4 September 2020

The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee will next week take evidence from the Confederation of British Industry, Trade Union Congress, the OECD and others as it opens its inquiry into employment and COVID-19.

The Committee is looking into the effect of COVID-19 on the labour market and 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 evdience sessions will be start at 15:00 on Tuesday 8 September. They will be held remotely and can be followed at Parliament TV.

The full witness details are:


  • Rain Newton-Smith, Chief Economist at CBI
  • Kate Bell, Head of Rights, International, Social and Economics at TUC
  • Martin McTague, National Vice Chair Policy and Advocacy at Federation of Small Businesses
  • Andy Chamberlain, Director of Policy at the Association of Independent Professionals & the Self-Employed


  • Guntram Wolff, Director at Bruegel
  • Katharine Mullock, Labour market economist at OECD

The first session will focus on the Government’s interventions to reduce the risk to jobs from the pandemic such as the Job Retention Scheme, and support for self-employed people and whether these schemes should be extended. The Committee will also ask about the move to encourage workers to return to their workplaces rather than working from home and what needs to be done to ensure the public are confident that can happen safely

In the second session the Committee will examine how the UK’s record in protecting jobs during the pandemic compares to the performance of other countries and whether the UK can learn from international comparisons going forward.

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