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Poverty and insecurityLife in low-pay, no-pay Britain$
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Tracy Shildrick, Robert MacDonald, and Colin Webster

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781847429117

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847429117.001.0001

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date: 20 August 2017

‘The ties that bind’: ill health and caring and their impact on the low-pay, no-pay cycle

‘The ties that bind’: ill health and caring and their impact on the low-pay, no-pay cycle

(p.142) (p.143) 8 ‘The ties that bind’: ill health and caring and their impact on the low-pay, no-pay cycle
Poverty and insecurity

Tracy Shildrick

Robert MacDonald

Colin Webster

Kayleigh Garthwaite

Policy Press

This chapter shifts attention from ‘the demand side’ of employment – or at least interviewees’ experiences of the forms of work on offer – to ‘supply-side’ factors that sometimes inhibited engagement with employment, and which helped shape the low-pay, no-pay cycle. Ill-health and caring responsibilities are the two empirical foci here. The chapter unravels the connections between unemployment, poor work and ill-health and speculates that long-term churning between poor work and unemployment may itself add further detriments to health. The chapter shows how jobs often made demands of unsocial hours under unpredictable conditions. This made fulfilling caring responsibilities and accessing affordable and manageable childcare difficult. The chapter concludes, however, by arguing that in the long-term, lived experience of the low-pay, no-pay cycle it is not so easy to separate ‘demand’ from ‘supply-side’ factors. The pressures, constraints and demands of poor work did much to shape what, superficially, appear to be problems that reside in the situations of those looking for work (e.g. ill-health or difficulties with childcare).

Keywords:   Childcare, Ill health, Supply-side, Depression

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