Covid-19 compensation claims against employers
According to figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) workers in low-skilled jobs are the most likely to die after contracting Covid-19, with male security guards among those with the highest death rate. Male construction workers, taxi drivers, bus and coach drivers, plant processing workers and chefs are also among those with the highest coronavirus death rates.
Perhaps surprisingly healthcare workers, including doctors and nurses, were not found to have a higher mortality rate compared with others of the same age and sex, although there was a slightly raised rate among care home workers. It is possible that more care home workers have been infected than NHS staff as they have not received the same protection from the virus with limited PPE being made available.
One industry that appears to have been impacted worldwide is meat processing plants and slaughterhouses. The US has been hardest hit, suffering outbreaks at 180 meat and processed food plans. But other countries are also struggling, including the UK.
The reasons for the meat processing coronavirus outbreaks are said to be a combination of crowded working conditions, workforces that are often made up predominantly of workers living in multi-occupancy housing, and the fact that plants have remained open during the crisis. Many small slaughterhouses have been shut down over recent years in favour of fewer, much larger plants that may have thousands of workers.
However, while employees may take legal action against an employer who failed to protect them, they will need to satisfy the court that their illness was contracted as a direct result of the employer’s breach rather than any other cause. The difficulty they face is that because Covid is so widespread it can be hard to establish categorically that the employer was definitely the source of infection.