From education to employment

The risks of the pandemic have not been borne equally – JRF responds to TUC

University of Northampton Covid heroes gain award recognition

In response to the TUC’s analysis which shows that Covid-19 mortality rates during the pandemic are twice as high in insecure jobs than in other professions, Katie Schmuecker, Deputy Director of Policy and Partnerships  for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said:

“It’s heart-breaking to think of the plight many people have found themselves in during this pandemic, having to go out to work and expose themselves to a deadly virus in order to support themselves and their families. The risks of the pandemic have not been borne equally, with women, disabled and BME workers the most likely to be in precarious work.

“Not only have these workers been at greater risk of death, our research shows people on zero hours or temporary contracts were four times more likely to lose their job during the first lockdown, and self-employed people were three times more likely to stop working compared to people on permanent contracts. The lowest-paid workers and part-time workers were twice as likely to lose their jobs compared to the highest paid.

“As we move out of lockdown the Government must deliver on their promised Employment Bill and build an economy which protects workers from harm. It’s vital that high quality, secure jobs are a key feature of the new normal and a test of the Government’s commitment to levelling up.

“The last year has seen many workers and their families exposed when the pandemic hit, and many faced being swept into poverty or into the path of a dangerous virus. This must not be allowed to happen again: work must become a genuine and reliable route out of poverty so people can build a better life for themselves and their families”.

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