COVID-19 Mortality Higher Amongst Insecure Workers

New analysis has been issued which shows that COVID-19 mortality rates are twice as high in insecure jobs than in other professions.

By “insecure jobs”, the TUC is referring to occupations with a higher proportion of insecure workers.  Insecure workers are those on a contract that does not guarantee regular hours or income (including zero-hours contracts, agency work and casual work), or they are in low-paid self-employment (earning less than the government’s National Living Wage).

The analysis shows that:

  • The Covid-19 male mortality rate in insecure occupations was 51 per 100,000 people aged 20-64, compared to 24 per 100,000 people in less insecure occupations;
  • The Covid-19 female mortality rate in insecure occupations was 25 per 100,000 people, compared to 13 per 100,000 in less insecure occupations.

Insecure workers account for one in nine workers – with women, disabled workers and BME workers more likely to be in precarious work.  Sectors such as care, leisure, and the elementary occupations have high rates of insecure work – compared to managerial, professional and admin sectors which have some of the lowest.  Those in insecure occupations have largely continued to work outside the home during the pandemic, and that many key workers are in insecure employment.

The TUC says workers in insecure jobs are having to shoulder more risk of infection during this pandemic, while facing the “triple whammy” of a lack of sick pay, fewer rights and endemic low pay.  The union is calling for the pandemic to be a “turning point” so that everyone can enjoy dignity at work.

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