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Funding granted for international public policy project aiming to understand the relationship between poverty and wellbeing

12 July 2023

Old council tower block in London

Cardiff University and University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HES-SO) researchers have been awarded funding for a project that will examine and compare the relationship between low-quality work, poverty and wellbeing in the UK and Switzerland.

The project, funded by Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), hopes to advance understanding about the long-term implications of low-quality work, including contributing to debates around whether these forms of employment act as a ‘stepping stone’ or a ‘dead end’.

Professor Eric Crettaz of HES-SO Geneva and Cardiff University’s Dr Rod Hick will collaborate on this work, with two post-doctoral researchers to join the team, one based in Switzerland and the other in Cardiff.

Dr Hick said:

Professor Eric Crettaz and I are delighted that SNSF has funded this study on low-quality work, building on previous research we’ve conducted separately on in-work poverty over many years. We’re hoping this study will advance our understanding of the dynamics of low-quality work and its consequences and that this will lead to recommendations that will be taken up by policymakers.
Dr Rod Hick Reader

“When presenting my own work in other countries, I’ve been struck by the extent to which concerns we have about the apparent rise in forms of employment that are insecure are poorly paid and simply don’t provide enough to live on are shared by researchers and policy-makers in other nations.

“I’m pleased that we’ll have the opportunity to examine the implications of low-quality work not only on poverty but also in terms of subjective wellbeing, which is an area that we need to know more about.”

Dr Hick is a Reader for social and public policy at Cardiff University’s School of Social Sciences.

Working alongside him is Professor Eric Crettaz, the project lead, who specialises in economic inequalities and labour markets at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland.

The project also aims to shed new light on the implications of low-quality work in both economic and subjective well-being terms.

It hopes to determine the extent the role of the welfare state plays in providing a buffer to low-income workers and their families, and the consequences of low-quality work.

The project will start by early 2024 and will be completed over two years.

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