Liam McCabe, President, NUS Scotland comments on how Coronavirus will impact on workers with an already low income:
“Many students and apprentices are part of the gig economy working in precarious contracts, zero hours contracts, and hourly paid jobs in parts of the economy that are low paid and will be hit hard during the progression of COVID-19. As more people get sick and more people will be required to self-isolate, areas such as leisure, tourism, food & beverage, entertainment and the arts will all be affected. These areas hold jobs for many students and often their pay packets will not have been high enough to qualify for statutory sick pay (SSP).
“NUS welcome the TUC have been calling for sick pay for all and support to fund wages for those who lose out, and we support these calls. NUS is asking all students’ unions to encourage students who are worried about employment to join a trade union.
“NUS is calling for the government to enact a rent & utility holiday for t least three months, a suspension of rent rises and evictions for all tenants including those in student accommodation, state guaranteed living income for all workers who cannot attend work, including precarious and gig-economy workers, and for those made redundant as a result of the pandemic, the SSP threshold to be lowered and the rate of SSP increased if and when businesses are affected.”