Essential workers working on Christmas Day are earning thousands of pounds less in real terms compared to a decade ago, according to new analysis by the Trade Union Congress (TUC).
The trade union has urged the government to raise the national minimum wage from £8.91 to £10 per hour, after revealing key workers working on 25 December have taken real pay cuts since 2010.
After working on the frontline of the pandemic “too many keyworkers are at a breaking point” due to a mix of “low pay, excessive workloads and a lack of recognition”, says the TUC.
The news comes during a cost-of-living crisis where annual inflation has reached 5.1% and expected by the Bank of England to peak at 6% this spring.
“Many of the key workers who are bracing themselves for another surge of Covid cases are earning less in real terms than they were a decade ago. That is not right,” TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said.
“While many of us are tucking into the turkey, thousands of key workers will be hard at work on the frontline, many of them dealing with staff shortages as a result of the Omicron variant. But their pay awards are falling way short of what they should be, especially in a cost-of-living crisis.”
O’Grady added: “The pandemic must be a turning point. 2022 should be the year that the government finally gets wages rising across the UK. They can start by giving our public service workers a proper pay rise, and by raising the minimum wage to £10 an hour.”