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P
Pa
April 16, 2021

Covid mortality rates twice as high in insecure jobs: TUC

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P
Pa
April 16, 2021

LONDON: Coronavirus mortality rates are twice as high in insecure jobs as in other professions, new research suggests.

The TUC said workers on a contract that does not guarantee regular hours or income, such as zero-hours contracts or casual work, and those in low-paid self-employment, have been more at risk of infection. The Covid-19 male mortality rate in insecure occupations was 51 per 100,000 people aged 20-64, compared with 24 per 100,000 in less insecure occupations, said the union organisation.

The Covid-19 female mortality rate in insecure occupations was 25 per 100,000 people, compared with 13 per 100,000 in less insecure occupations.

The TUC called the figures “stark” and said more research is needed to understand the links between precarious work and risk of infection and death.

Workers in insecure jobs are having to shoulder more risk of infection while facing a “triple whammy” of a lack of sick pay, fewer rights and endemic low pay, said the report.

Those in insecure occupations have largely continued to work outside the home during the pandemic, while many key workers are in insecure employment, said the TUC.

General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “No matter your race or background, everyone deserves fair pay and to be treated with dignity and respect, but during the pandemic we’ve seen higher infections and death rates in insecure jobs.

“Too many workers are trapped on zero-hours contracts or in other sorts of insecure work, and are hit by a triple whammy of endemic low pay, few workplace rights and low or no sick pay....”