UK's 'underpaid' key workers most at risk during Covid-19 crisis

As well as health risks facing women and low-income workers in sectors where staff are still going into work, the Resolution Foundation identified 6.3 million people in areas of the economy that have been ordered to shut down, including in hospitality, retail, arts, travel and leisure. It said jobs in sectors that have been effectively forced to close were typically lower paid than average, putting workers in these areas at greater risk of financial hardship as redundancies mount. One in four of the lowest 10% of all UK earners work in sectors where activity has ground to a halt amid tight restrictions on social and business life across Britain, compared with less than one in 20 of the highest paid. (Pictured) Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a statement, while flanked by windows showing children's drawings of rainbows supporting the NHS, on his first day back at work in Downing Street after recovering from a bout of coronavirus (COVID-19) that put him in intensive care, in London, England on April 27. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) warned the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic could see the U.K. economy shrink by a record 35 percent by June.  A man wears a religious placard on Market Street in Manchester, England on March 25.  Workers sell food and household items to local residents from their ice cream van at a supported housing estate in west Belfast, Northern Ireland on April 1. Soldiers and private contractors help to prepare the ExCel centre in London, which is being made into the temporary NHS Nightingale hospital comprising two wards, each of 2,000 people, to help tackle coronavirus, on March 30.  Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives a press conference on the ongoing situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with chief medical officer Chris Whitty (L) and Chief scientific officer Sir Patrick Vallance (R) in Downing Street after he had taken part in the government's emergency Cobra meeting in London, England on March 16. Maja Gustafsson, a researcher at the Resolution Foundation, said that as the government started to consider lifting lockdown conditions, it was vital that it focused on supporting those who have been at the centre of the current crisis. “Women, young people and the low-paid are most likely to be bearing the biggest health and economic risks from the crisis, which has shone a spotlight on the vitality of work that has been undervalued and underpaid for far too long,” she added.