Welfare beyond work: Active participation in a new welfare state

Donald Hirsch

This report brings together information from JRF research and discussions to consider the needs of people of working age who are not in jobs.

Most face hardship and financial difficulties, with incomes that have declined relative to general living standards.

The report identifies groups that are likely to spend relatively long periods not working. As well as financial hardship there is an issue of how people outside work are able to contribute to society – potentially through activities outside employment. The report concludes that a broader interpretation of what form of 'work' society recognises and rewards will make it more rather than less likely that people move into employment, since social participation builds confidence and skills that are needed to get work.

This guide to the wider welfare debate suggests specific areas of policy that might be affected by a new approach to welfare beyond work, but its main purpose is to open up a discussion about how to create a better welfare system without relying solely on work as a solution.

Not available electronically