WOMEN in the South East are feeling the pressures of the pandemic, according to UNISON.
The trade union has reported that local women in key worker jobs are losing sleep and worrying more, and said they should receive time off and a pay rise.
UNISON contacted nearly 3,500 women across the region, including teaching assistants and police staff, for its latest report: Women Working Through the Pandemic.
The survey found that nearly two thirds (64%) of key worker women are not sleeping well, and more than half (50%) feel stressed most of the time.
Some issues people reported worrying about include the impact of the pandemic on children’s education and mental health.
UNISON also reported that nearly half (46%) of women have seen their bills increase, despite the majority (54%) earning £18,000 a year or less.
Jo Galloway, UNISON South East head of equality, said: “Public services would have come to a standstill without the vital jobs done by women in our schools, hospitals, police forces and local councils. But employees are exhausted.
“They’re worn out from meeting work demands during Covid while caring for relatives, looking after children and dealing with debt.”
Ms Galloway said women on low wages are shouldering the burdens most of all.
UNISON is now calling on the government to ensure employers are more flexible with staff and to maintain the £20 increase to universal credit allowance.