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Workforce restructuring, social insurance coverage and the black economy

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The national insurance system of contributory work-related benefits was designed for a ‘core’ workforce in continuous full-time employment. It provides incomplete coverage for the rising numbers of people in the peripheral workforce: part-time jobs, temporary work and self-employment. National estimates are presented for workers whose earnings are below the national insurance threshold, and who are thus excluded from social security benefits such as unemployment, sickness and retirement benefits—roughly 2 million in the period 1985–87. It is estimated that another million workers at least are within the NI net, but outside the income tax net. In addition, there are up to 2 million non-working people who have trivial earnings that leave them outside the NI and tax nets. Homeworkers are found in both these groups. The paper discusses the implications of these findings for claims about the size of the black economy and the characteristics of people participating in the black economy, and for the future development of the social insurance system.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/25084/

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