One in four cleaners have stopped work due to sickness than retirement, union finds

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The Trades Union Congress has urged the Government to tackle structural inequalities that leave Brits in working class jobs more exposed to ill health.

One in four people employed in working-class jobs are more likely to have left the labour market due to sickness or ill health, figures show today.

The Trades Union Congress has identified structural inequalities that leave security guards, cleaners and those who work with machinery at a higher risk of falling out of work.

Twice as many older workers have left the labour market due to sickness than retirement during the pandemic, with 97,000 people aged 50-65 leaving their profession.

The TUC study found only one in 10 people who work in professional jobs have been forced out of the labour market because of ill health.

The stats become more striking as BAME workers are more likely to have left jobs due to sickness even before they reach retirement age.

The TUC says that plans to tackle labour shortages by helping more older workers stay in work must address the long running structural inequalities that result in workers on lower pay and BME workers being pushed out of work for health reasons.

Frances O’Grady, the unions general secretary said: “All workers should be able to retire in dignity with a decent pension when the time is right.

“But many older workers – particularly BME workers and those who work in working-class professions – are being forced to stop work earlier due to ill health. They must not be consigned to years of poverty and sickness.

“The government should stop plans for further rises in the pension age and focus on improving support for people who are being forced out of work by ill health.”