COVID-19 and Precarious Employment: Consequences of the Evolving Crisis

All Members of the PWR Study Consortium, Nuria Matilla-Santander, Emily Ahonen, Maria Albin, Sherry Baron, Mireia Bolíbar, Kim Bosmans, Bo Burström, Isabel Cuervo, Letitia Davis, Virginia Gunn, Carin Håkansta, Tomas Hemmingsson, Christer Hogstedt, Johanna Jonsson, Mireia Julià, Katarina Kjellberg, Bertina Kreshpaj, Wayne Lewchuk, Carles MuntanerPatricia O'Campo, Cecilia Orellana, Per-Olof Östergren, Eva Padrosa, Marisol E Ruiz, Christophe Vanroelen, Emilia Vignola, Alejandra Vives, David H Wegman, Theo Bodin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


The world of work is facing an ongoing pandemic and an economic downturn with severe effects worldwide. Workers trapped in precarious employment (PE), both formal and informal, are among those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here we call attention to at least 5 critical ways that the consequences of the crisis among workers in PE will be felt globally: (a) PE will increase, (b) workers in PE will become more precarious, (c) workers in PE will face unemployment without being officially laid off, (d) workers in PE will be exposed to serious stressors and dramatic life changes that may lead to a rise in diseases of despair, and (e) PE might be a factor in deterring the control of or in generating new COVID-19 outbreaks. We conclude that what we really need is a new social contract, where the work of all workers is recognized and protected with adequate job contracts, employment security, and social protection in a new economy, both during and after the COVID-19 crisis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-228
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of Health Services
Issue number2
Early online date11 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • COVID-19
  • employment
  • new economy
  • pandemic
  • precarious employment


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