JRF responds to ONS figures on occupation and coronavirus

JRF responds to data showing coronavirus risk for different occupations.

Helen Barnard, Acting Director at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said:

“Today’s figures are another stark reminder that although we are all weathering the same storm, we are not all in the same boat. People in low-paid public-facing jobs, such as security guards, carers, and factory and transport workers, are at an increased risk of catching coronavirus. We know that ethnic minorities and those living in more deprived areas are also more likely to die from the virus. As a country that believes in protecting each other from harm, this is just not right.

“As the Government considers how to wind down its economic interventions, it is vital that the health of workers in these roles is prioritised, and that financial support is available as a lifeline to anyone who needs it. No one should have to go out to earn in order to stay afloat if it puts their health at risk.

“In the longer term, we must ask ourselves what kind of society we want to live in after the virus passes. This means rethinking how we treat the low-paid workers who have sustained us and kept us safe during this crisis.”