Key workers make up more than 40% of the workforce in Scarborough, new figures reveal

More than 40% of Scarborough’s workforce are key workers, new figures show.

Scarborough was home to 20,000 key workers in 2019, the Office for National Statistics figures show.
Scarborough was home to 20,000 key workers in 2019, the Office for National Statistics figures show.

Leading trade unions say critical workers across the UK are risking their health for the public good but remain “scandalously” low paid.

Key workers are those seen as essential to the coronavirus response, and include health and social care staff, delivery drivers, supermarket employees and many others.

Scarborough was home to 20,000 key workers in 2019, the Office for National Statistics figures show.

This is equal to 41% of the area’s workforce – well above the UK average of 33%.

A separate analysis by jobs website Check-a-Salary shows the average salary for a full-time key worker in North Yorkshire is £28,178.

That is higher than the £19,344 that would be received working 40 hours per week at the real Living Wage of £9.30 per hour, which is set by the Living Wage Foundation.

The Trades Union Congress says around 40% of key workers across the country are paid less than £10 an hour, compared to just 30% of non-key workers, with general secretary Frances O’Grady saying they now deserve a pay rise as a thank you for keeping Britain going through the pandemic.

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

“Now it’s time for ministers to give key workers a proper thank you. And that means getting money into their pockets now.”

A government spokesman said millions of employees, including key workers, will have benefitted from an increase to the minimum wage at the start of April.

He added: “We recognise the outstanding work being done by key workers up and down the UK in response to the current crisis.

“We have provided £3.2 billion to local authorities to address Covid-19 pressures, including adult social care.

“We remain committed to helping hard working individuals earn more whilst levelling up this country.”

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