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A third of workers in the UK are concerned about catching Covid-19 while at work, new figures show.

The study, conducted by the Resolution Foundation think tank, found that the poorest workers in the UK are the most likely to to worried but are also the least likely to speak out about it.

It also found that young workers are also less likely to raise the issue with bosses.

Lindsay Judge, research director at the Resolution Foundation, said: “More than one-in-three workers are worried about catching coronavirus on the job, despite the extensive steps employers have taken to make workplaces Covid-secure.

“Given many workers’ limited ability to get employers to address Covid concerns, the UK needs a strong enforcement regime to ensure that workplaces are as safe as can be.

“But instead health and safety resources have been cut, inspections have been slow, and Covid-related enforcement notices are few and far between.”

With the results of the survey in mind, the Resolution Foundation criticised the reduction in funding for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which has fallen from £244 per workplace a decade ago to £100 this year.

A government spokesperson said £14 million worth of extra funding had been given to the Health and Safety Executive to combat the spread of Covid-19 this year. They said: “We thank the Resolution Foundation for its report, and with our partners across government we will examine its findings. We welcome the acknowledgement of our increased activity and share the commitment to ensure all employees have a voice.

“Making sure Great Britain’s workplaces are Covid-Secure is our priority; this effort will not be affected by recent additional restrictions announced across England, Scotland and Wales. We will work with stakeholders to deliver workplace health and safety during this coronavirus pandemic.

“Inspection and putting duty holders on the spot is just one part of a wide ranging regulatory approach. We use a number of different ways to gather intelligence and reach out to businesses with a combination of site visits, phone calls and through collection of supporting visual evidence such as photos and video footage.”

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