Essential Report

Biggest Covid-19-related risks for employees

Feb 16, 2021

Q. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, which of the following risks do you think employees are currently the most vulnerable to?

Please rank each of the following from biggest risk (1) to smallest risk (6).

TOTAL: Biggest risk (Ranked 1)  Total Employment Status
In paid employment Not in paid employment Retired
Having less job security 36% 34% 40% 35%
Working in unsafe conditions 20% 18% 24% 19%
Being exploited by employers (e.g. being expected to work unpaid overtime, working long shifts) 16% 16% 15% 15%
Not receiving a pay increase 10% 12% 6% 13%
Not getting paid fairly 10% 11% 8% 7%
Having limited opportunities for career progression 9% 9% 6% 11%
Base (n) 1,109 552 259 255
  • Considering the Covid-19 pandemic, having less job security is seen as the biggest risk for employees by over a third (36%) of people.
  • Working in unsafe conditions is seen as the next biggest risk (20%), followed by being exploited by employers (16%).
  • Those not in paid employment are most likely to rate job security (40%) and unsafe conditions (24%) as the biggest risk to employees.


Read Essential's ongoing research on the public response to Covid-19.

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