Following recent research that has brought to light that workers in insecure jobs are twice as likely to die of Covid, Aleksandra Flack, a senior employment lawyer at Langleys Solicitors, commented: “This increase in the chance of death for those in insecure roles can be linked to the lack of financial support available to them.
“Those on zero-hour contracts are generally classed as workers, therefore do not qualify for Statutory Sick Pay and it is highly unlikely that the employer will offer any enhanced pay. Even if they did qualify for Statutory Sick Pay, the amount is so low, that those individuals may be putting their income before their health.
“Additionally, because hours are not guarantees, those individuals may fear that if they turn down work due to feeling unwell then they may not have work offered to them in the future, therefore impacting their income long term.
“Individuals with underlying health conditions in this situation will therefore be less likely to choose to self isolate over fear over their loss of income.
“Despite this, businesses and employers do have to ensure that the environment that individuals work in is safe and there are measures in place to protect those who do not have a set place of work, such as delivery drivers, ensuring that all necessary measures are put in place to keep them safe. The best way to do this is to get regular feedback and listen to any safety concerns raised by members of staff and address those.”