More than 12,000 Keyworkers in North Somerset earn less than £10 an hour

The TUC are calling on the Government to improve pay and conditions for keyworkers. Picture: Sunyu

The TUC are calling on the Government to improve pay and conditions for keyworkers. Picture: Sunyu Kim - Credit: Archant

More than 12,000 keyworkers in North Somerset earn less than £10 an hour.

Figures released today (Friday) by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) revealed 12,021 key workers within the district are being underpaid for their efforts.

Across the South West, there are 329,693 key workers earning less than £10 an hour and nationally one in four key workers, an estimated 3.7 million people, are earning less than £10 an hour.

As part of International Workers Day, the TUC is not only calling on people to express gratitude to key workers who have made a difference during the lockdown, but is also urging ministers to do more to improve pay and conditions for key workers.

TUC regional secretary Nigel Costley said: “Everyone who’s kept Britain going through this pandemic deserves a pay rise.

“Front-line workers are putting their own health on the line to look after the rest of us. They’re caring for our sick and vulnerable, getting us to work, keeping our shelves stocked and our vital services running.

“It’s time our key workers got a proper thank you. This means getting money into their pockets now.

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“If ministers truly want to thank the people who got us through this crisis, they should give key workers the pay rise they deserve.

“We owe so much to them – now more than ever. The least the Government should do is give them proper pay and better conditions.”

Women are more likely than men to be key workers and, when they are, they are more likely to be on low pay.

Of an estimated 9.8 million key workers nationwide, nearly two-thirds are women. And 2.5 million female key workers earn less than £10 an hour.

Meanwhile, in the social care sector, which has been hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, seven in 10 workers earn less than £10 an hour, and one in four social care workers are on zero hours contracts, with significantly different hours of work and pay packets, and no sick pay.

A TUC spokesman said: “We are calling on the Government to increase the minimum wage to £10 an hour now, deliver fair pay rises and rewards for key workers, ban zero-hours contracts and stamp out false self-employment, increase sick pay to the real living wage, and bring outsourced workers in the NHS back into the public sector.”

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