Two in five key workers forced to take on extra work, report suggests

Two in five key workers say they’ve been forced to take on extra work to keep afloat – what extra jobs are people taking on to make ends meet?

  • Almost half say an unexpected expense of £100 would send them over the edge.
  • Despite many taking on extra work, a third of key workers have run out of savings
  • Nearly half are unable to provide adequate financial support to their families

Two in five key workers have been forced take on additional work to make ends meet, new research from lender Creditspring claims.

There is significantly higher levels of financial vulnerability among key workers, with almost half saying an unexpected expense of £100 would send them over the edge, compared to 25 per cent among the general population.

Key workers are almost twice as likely to feel ‘terrified’ about their financial future than the general population, according to the study.

With the current levels of inflation, nearly half of key workers say that they are unable to provide adequate financial support to their families.

Two in five key workers including nurses and medical staff have been forced to take on additional work to make ends meet

The Consumer Prices Index measure of inflation is at 10.1 per cent while the value of real wages fell by 2.4 per cent.

The research was of 1,000 key workers and largely focused on NHS professionals, including doctors, nurses, paramedics and support staff, alongside teachers and headteachers and social care workers.

It also included firefighters, police officers and those in the armed forces but the vast majority of respondents were from the first three categories.

Many people working in these sectors have been striking over pay disputes for the last year. 

The survey suggests they are taking on second jobs, working overtime and relying on borrowing.

The common types of second jobs key workers have taken range from taking Uber or minicab driving shifts, bar and restaurant work, private tuition, delivery drivers and working for Amazon, according to Creditspring.

Neil Kadagathur, co-founder of the lender, said: ‘No one should have to take on multiple jobs or work huge numbers of extra shifts on top of a full time role just to pay the bills each month.

‘Especially not our nation’s key workers who do some of the most difficult, challenging work this country has to offer.’

For many of these key workers, falling back on savings is not an option. Instead, they are turning to borrowing to get by.

A third of key workers have already run out of savings and are now reliant on credit to make ends meet, compared to 19 per cent of the general population. 

It’s not just key workers who are having to take on extra jobs. 

Research from GoDaddy found that almost half of Britons are consider part-time work in 2023 on top of their usual work, with over four in five saying this is due to rising costs.

The most popular options include pet sitter, jewellery maker and dog groomer.

Nearly three in five aspiring entrepreneurs say they won’t be able to afford their bills without extra income

Three in five Gen-Z and millennials were looking to start their own business in 2023. 

Over half of these say that the income could help with fixed costs, such as rent and energy bills.

Andrew Gradon, head of GoDaddy UK & Ireland, said: ‘The cost-of-living crisis is having a direct impact on the growth of the microbusiness sector: people are turning to side hustles to generate extra income and help them get through tough economic times.

‘The UK will see a big surge in these “necessity entrepreneurs” across 2023.’