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Low Incomes: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN HL8429, tabled on 23 September 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Learning and Working Institute The impact of the coronavirus outbreak on London’s low paid workers, published in July.

Answered on

7 October 2020

The number of people earning below two-thirds of median hourly pay fell for the sixth consecutive year, falling from 17% or employees in 2018 to 15.5% in 2019, the lowest rate since 1978.

The introduction of the National Living Wage has contributed significantly to this and the Government remains committed to eradicate low pay through the National Living Wage’s target, to reach two-thirds of median earnings by 2024, provided economic conditions allow.

In addition to this, we are aware of the potential impacts that Covid-19 may have on low paid workers. Analysis by HM Treasury shows that Government’s interventions, such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, helped reduce the scale of losses for working households by up to two-thirds.

From the 1 November the Job Support Scheme will open and run for 6 months. It is designed to protect viable jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to covid 19, to help their employees attached to the workforce.