Coronavirus death rates are twice as high in precarious jobs as in other occupations, new research suggests.
The TUC said workers with contracts not guaranteeing regular hours or income, such as zero-hour contracts or casual work, and low-paid self-employed workers, were at higher risk of infection.
It is believed that key workers such as those in social services and delivery driving, which cannot be done at home and force people to come into contact with others, are more insecure.
The Covid-19 death rate among men in precarious occupations was 51 per 100,000 people aged 20 to 64, compared to 24 per 100,000 in safer work, the union said.
The death rate for women in precarious jobs was 25 per 100,000 people, compared to 13 per 100,000 in more secure occupations.
The TUC, which called the numbers harsh, said more research was needed to understand the links between precarious work and the risk of infection and death.
His analysis of official figures suggests that there are 3.6 million people in the UK in precarious work, after the figures rose after the 2008 financial crisis.
The TUC report says workers in precarious jobs face more risk of infection while facing a “triple whammy” of lack of disease, fewer rights and rampant low wages, the report says. report.
People in precarious jobs largely continued to work outside the home during the pandemic, while many key workers are in precarious jobs, she says.
General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “No matter your race or background, everyone deserves a fair wage and to be treated with dignity and respect, but during the pandemic we have seen high rates of infection and higher mortality in precarious jobs.
“Too many workers are trapped on zero hour contracts or other types of precarious work, and are hit by a triple whammy of rampant low wages, few workplace rights and low sick pay or non-existent.
“Many of them are the key workers we have all applauded, such as social workers, delivery drivers and coronavirus testing staff. This must be a turning point. “
She called on ministers to increase statutory sickness benefits to the level of the real living wage and ensure that everyone can get it.
“If people can’t observe self-isolation when they need it, the virus could rebound. No one should have to choose between doing the right thing and putting food on the table. “
Katie Schmuecker, of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: “It is heartbreaking to think of the difficult situation many people have found themselves in during this pandemic, having to go to work and expose themselves to a deadly virus to support themselves. and those of their families.
According to her, research showed that people on zero-hour contracts or temporary contracts were four times more likely to lose their jobs in the first lockdown, and self-employed workers were three times more likely to stop working than those on contracts. permanent.
“The lowest paid workers and part-time workers were twice as likely to lose their jobs as the highest paid workers,” she added.
New research from the Living Wage Foundation has highlighted the stress caused by precarious and unpredictable work patterns, showing that two-fifths of all employees are given less than a week’s notice for their shifts or hours of work.
Additional reports by the PA
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This notice was published: 2021-04-15 23:00:32