The long periods during which restaurants and bars have been forced to close has meant that those working there have spent many months on temporary unemployment. Many of those with so-called flexi-jobs that allow them to earn up to 500 euro per month without paying tax or social security contribution also work in hospitality or in other sectors such as hairdressing that have been forced to close for periods of time since the onset of the pandemic last March.
The study shows that loss of income due to the pandemic is very unevenly distributed. Around 65% of those in employment have suffered no loss of income. Within the 35% of people in work that have seen their income fall there are big variations in the amount of income lost. The social safety net has ensured that any loss of net income has been has remained limited to an average 281 euro/person/month
However, the financial situation for hospitality workers and those with flexi-jobs is much graver.
Leuven University’s André Decoster told VRT News that "It is more than clear that a combination of having to fall back onto temporary unemployment and income from flexi-jobs falling away has led to a big fall income among these workers”.