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It’s still too early to know the exact impact of the pandemic on employment in. Newham Council estimates that up to 42000 jobs could be affected, a figure that is higher than the London average and twice the rate of Tower Hamlets [3]. In addition in November 2020 there were ‘’more than 27,000 additional people on benefits, and 17,000 on furlough [4].

Among survey responses, 24% related to work. Most of these focussed on lack of work, reduced hours and unemployment. A number also expressed concerns about managing their present work situation, finding the ‘new normal’ of working from home difficult and stressful.

A recent study by the University of Birmingham found that many more people were experiencing work related stress. The study revealed two key COVID-19 induced working from home enhancers of job stress; being unable to separate personal life from work whilst working from home, and the general stress created by working from home. ‘’Working away from office is more stressful because it has breached work and family boundaries,” explained Dr. Shiu. ‘’Home working can also lead to disruption of circadian rhythms – contributing to sleeping and eating disorders, which then lead to psychological stress.” [5]

Some have reduced hours,

Others are finding working from home a challenge,

When asked what positive things have taken place during the pandemic many expressed gratitude for being in work and finding hope for the future, including gaining new skills, having plans for further training, accessing online classes, and finding a new or better job or starting their own business.

When looking to the future, there was a range of suggestions about future provision to support people into work 

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