35% of workers worry about Covid-19 in workplace

More than one-in-three (35%) workers have an active concern about the transmission of Covid-19 in their workplace according to the Resolution Foundation.

The report showed low paid workers were most likely to be worried, but least likely to raise concerns or see their complaints resolved.

Drawing on an online YouGov survey of 6,061 adults across the UK commissioned by Fail Safe? It examined the extent of workers’ Covid-19 concerns, what “steps” employers were taking to make workplaces Covid-secure, and how unsafe practices were dealt with.

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The report found that nearly half (47%) of workers rate the risk of Covid-19 transmission at work as “fairly or very high”.

Despite 90% of employers taking multiple steps to mitigate risks, such as “providing hand sanitiser or enforcing social distancing” workers have shown to be still anxious about it.

Failed Safe? noted that Covid-19 concerns were “driven” by both workers’ personal characteristics and where they work.

Concerns were most common among BAME workers (47%), those living in a household where someone’s shielding (45%), workers in caring (44%) and customer-facing (41%) roles, such as shops and restaurants.

Lindsay Judge, research director at the Resolution Foundation, said: “More than one-in-three workers are worried about catching Coronavirus on the job, despite the extensive steps employers have taken to make workplaces Covid-secure.

“Worryingly, those who are most worried about catching Covid, such as low-paid workers in customer-facing roles, are also the least likely to raise a complaint about it, or to have their complaints resolved.

She added: “Given many workers’ limited ability to get employers to address Covid concerns, the UK needs a strong enforcement regime to ensure that workplaces are as safe as can be. But instead health and safety resources have been cut, inspections have been slow, and Covid-related enforcement notices are few and far between.”


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