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Data Access Register - full project summary

Application ID LLC_0010
Project Title Association of COVID-19 and Long COVID with disruption in employment and finances
Lead Applicant Richard Shaw
Organisation(s) Name(s) University of Glasgow
Approval Date 22/05/2022
Application Status Approved
Lay Summary

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to large-scale employment disruption, but little is known about the impact on employment for people who caught COVID-19.


We will compare the differences in employment status, the number of hours worked, and financial circumstances for people who have had COVID-19 or long COVID compared to those who have not. To do this we will use employment and financial data from research studies, in combination self-identified measures and NHS health records on COVID-19 infection and long COVID. Although we have information on COVID-19 infection and long COVID from our research studies, NHS infection data will give us more reliable information about who was infected and when.

NHS healthcare and hospital records will also tell us how severe people’s infections have been, and how long they have lasted.

We hope that this study will tell us how COVID-19 and long COVID might influence people’s ability to carry on in work and cope financially. We will share the results with policy makers to guide decisions on how to support people who have been infected by COVID-19 to return to work and financially support their families. This will be important given the large numbers of people who have long COVID.

Datasets Requested

Study data

  • Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC)
  • 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70)
  • English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA)
  • Extended Cohort for E-health, Environment and DNA (EXCEED)
  • 1958 National Child Development Study (NDCS58)

Linked data

  • NHS Digital Cancer Registration Data
  • NHS Digital Hospital Episode Statistics Admitted Patient Care
  • NHS Digital Hospital Episode Statistics Admitted Patient Care (Augmented/critical care period)
  • NHS Digital Hospital Episode Statistics Critical Care
  • NHS Digital Hospital Episode Statistics Outpatient
  • NHS Digital Hospital Episode Statistics Accident and Emergency
  • NHSEmergency Care Dataset (ECDS)
  • NHS Digital GDPPR Data for Pandemic Planning and Research (COVID-19)
  • NHS Digital COVID-19 Vaccination Status
  • NHS Digital COID-19 SARI-WATCH (formally CHESS)
  • NHS Digital COVID-19 Second Generation Surveillance System (Pillar 1 & Pillar 2)
  • NHS Digital NPex (Pillar 2)
  • NHS Digital Covid-19 Non-hospital Antibody Testing Results (pillar 3)
Results & Impact

We found that testing positive for COVID-19 had either no relationship with subsequent economic activity or only a small one, once alternative explanations were accounted for. The alternative explanations included: keyworker status, health prior to the pandemic, highest educational qualifications, socio-economic classification, and whether they had taken steps to protect themselves from exposure to COVID-19. The key limitation with this study is that at the time for which we have employment data, only a small proportion of people had had COVID-19, thus it is not possible to eliminate COVID-19 having a stronger relationship, in a different sample, or at a time when more people have had COVID-19.  

Testing positive for COVID-19 only has either a weak or no association with economic inactivity for this sample, at this time. It appears that COVID-19 infections are unlikely to have led to an increase in economic inactivity, but it would not be that surprising if other studies found different results.  


Associations between SARS-CoV-2 infection and subsequent economic inactivity and employment status: pooled analyses of five linked longitudinal surveys | medRxiv