A NEW study has revealed that a third of key workers in the frontline battle with coronavirus are being paid less than £10 an hour – which is below the target for the minimum wage.
Their hourly wages are 8 per cent lower on average than other employees, according to research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). Key workers, such as those in social care or the food sector, look similar to the rest of the workforce in terms of age, education, and where they were born, but they are more likely to be female and lower paid than others, said the report.
“They work in the same dangerous areas as we do and should be paid the same,” said an NHS nurse, too scared to give her name in case of retribution.
The median key worker earned £12.26 an hour in today’s prices last year, 8 per cent less than the £13.26 per hour earned by the median earner in a non-key occupation, it was found. A third of the key workers in the study are paid £10 an hour or less, which is below the long-term target for the national living wage, said the IFS.
The food and social care sectors stand out for the low wages their employees earn as well as their low levels of qualifications, according to the report.