COVID-19 has upended our world of work and amplified the underlying inequalities in our society. We have seen the gulf widen between those in good work, and those whose working lives are precarious and uncertain, including many key workers across the country. It has become starkly apparent that the social and economic burden of the pandemic is not borne equally.
Against this background, the Institute for the Future of Work’s Good Work Monitor builds a detailed sub-regional map of access to good work across the country. It enables exploration of the downstream relationship of good work with local population health, and the upstream social and economics conditions of work by local areas for the first time.
The Good Work Monitor demonstrates that areas that offer a high level of access to good work are more resilient to the adverse effects of the pandemic, and suffer fewer deaths. Importantly, it shows a strong correlation of ‘bad’ work to ‘deaths of despair.’ This suggests that the worrying trends identified by Professor Sir Angus Deaton in the USA are now being reflected in the UK – a sharp reminder that prevention is better than cure.