“It’s the working class, who need to bring the bread home, who go out and take the risks.”
This pandemic really does discriminate, not only does Coronavirus disproportionately affects the poor & vulnerable, it puts the working class on the frontline everyday.
Frontline workers do not have the luxury to work from home. Essential public workers including all NHS staff, Police officers, the fire brigade, social services, care home workers, care assistants & carers, supermarket workers, counsel workers that have public facing jobs are all being subject to disproportionate risk just by doing their job.
These people do not have a choice of stopping at home their job is essential if they don’t work people die and for some if they don’t work they go hungry. But when they work they put themselves and their families at risk.
We can argue the case asking if the government are doing enough providing financial support for Business both large and small and to some extent the self-employed. However it cannot be argued that provision as not been made. Lots of jobs are being safeguarded by furloughing of employees, business can apply for a grant that covers 80% of their usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month per person, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and pension contributions .
It may not be ideal, it might not be perfect but for the non-essential workers, it gives some security in both employment and health.
These workers have little choice.
However those on the frontline many of whom fall into the poorest sections of society, working for minimum wage, have to go out every day and face the risk of contracting this virus. These are the people who worry about carrying an infection back home to their families to their children. They have no government provision to put bread on the table.
These workers have little choice. Dustbins can’t be empty from the luxury of home. The supermarket teller just does not get paid unless they do their job, publicly facing publicly mixing. No matter how stringent social distancing rules are workers are put at added risk.
A show of appreciation by clapping the brave efforts of all these workers at 8pm Thursday night is a great moral buster but financial appreciation would be a recognition of their sacrifice.
All our key workers our essential public workers, NHS staff including contracted cleaners and porters, the Police, the fire Brigade and frontline counsel workers should be given a bonus tax free and one that will not effect their Tax credit allowance or be counted in any means testing for those on minimum wage.
Essential public workers are the ones on the front lines every day carrying us through this crisis, and we must ensure their efforts and sacrifice are appropriately recognised.
It is not beyond the gift of this government to make bonus payments ‘Hazard pay for essential public workers on the front lines during this COVID-19 outbreak.
The payments should reflect the gratitude the nation has for these workers.
Please sign the petition for key workers to receive a bonus in gratitude of their work. LINK