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Unemployment and Income Protection: How do Better-Earning Households Expect to Manage Financially?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 April 2013

School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh, Chrystal Macmillan Building, 15A George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9LD
School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh, Chrystal Macmillan Building, 15A George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9LD email:


Apart from health care and education, it could be argued that working-age households with above-average income in the UK have never relied as much on the welfare state as their counterparts in many other European countries. How then do better-earning households expect to cope financially with the risk of unemployment, and to what extent do they plan ahead for a possible loss of earnings? Based on sixty-one interviews with couples, the article discusses various sources of income protection that these households envisage drawing upon in the event of unemployment. State benefits figure only marginally, private insurances to a limited extent and savings slightly more. However, there is little evidence of strategic planning. By contrast, many perceive their current job and personal employability as providing some security and regard the prospect of occupational redundancy pay as a major source of income protection. This finding contrasts sharply with a paucity of systematic information about the actual scope, quality and development of employer-based income security.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013 

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