Protecting Livelihoods in the COVID-19 Crisis: Legal Comparison of Measures to Maintain Employment, the Economy and Social Protection. Updated Version
The present study describes, categorises and analyses welfare states’ reactions to the Covid-19 crisis in order to secure economically endangered livelihoods in five European countries with varying welfare systems (Denmark, England, France, Germany and Italy). It reflects the situation as of the beginning of November 2020, a time in which a second wave of the coronavirus has hit Europe and, in response, new measures are either being planned or have already been put in place. The focus rests on measures aimed at job retention, maintaining economic activity, as well as at providing and facilitating access to social protection. These were investigated with a view to their relation to existing social security regimes and to the changes they effected in this regard.The pandemic-specific measures, which are all characterised by their multitude and rapid changeability, allow to draw conclusions about the distribution of individual, societal and state reponsibilities not only in times of crisis. Finally, the findings point to deficits in the design and coordination of social protection schemes and thus provides impulses for a new discussion of fundamental questions of the welfare state once the crisis has been overcome.