Sat 21 Mar 2020 02.12 AED
At least 5 million people have been designated as “key workers” in the UK whose jobs are essential to keep the country going during the coronavirus crisis – but many are paid well below the national average, reports Pamela Duncan and Niamh Mcintyre.
Of this group, at least 1.5 million workers earn below the national median salary of £24,897. The lowest paid key workers were check-out workers and shelf fillers, whose median salaries were £10,000 and £12,000 respectively. There were 13 roles in total earning below average wages, including undertakers, welfare administrators and teaching assistants.
The median salary of the occupation groups analysed by the Guardian stood at £31,029. Some of the higher paid roles include air traffic controllers, who earn £94,000 a year on average, and doctors, who earn £61,000.
Key workers – who include doctors, nurses, midwives, teachers, nursery staff, police and transport workers – are entitled to send their children to schools and nurseries, which are closed indefinitely for the majority of students.
The Guardian analysis found equivalents for job roles mentioned in the government’s list of key workers in the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings dataset published by the Office for National Statistics. The list of equivalents found will not include all key workers. Earnings are based on full and part time workers’s median earnings in 2019.