Key workers in Devon are paid less than the real Living Wage

News Desk's picture
Authored by News Desk
Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 01:02

Research has revealed that five key worker roles, essential to keeping Devon running, earn less than the real Living Wage of £19,344.

During the Covid-19 crisis there has been an influx of appreciation for the UK’s key workers. A variety of companies are offering a range of free or discounted food, drink, phone contracts, app subscriptions and clothing all to celebrate those who are keeping the country running. 

However Check-a-Salary, the salary comparison platform, have conducted research into the salaries of 20 different key worker roles across the UK and uncovered that five key worker roles - essential to keeping Devon running - earn less than the real Living Wage. Additionally, of the 20 key worker salaries analysed in Devon, 12 fell below the national average annual salary of £29,822.20.

Key worker roles in Devon earning less than the real Living Wage

A ‘key worker’ includes a wide variety of professions and is an individual that provides an essential service in a community, from a boiler engineer to a nursery nurse. 

Based on 40 hours a week, an individual on the real Living Wage would earn £19,344 before tax. However in Devon the following occupations earn: 

  • Call Centre Staff (£18,340.40)

  • Waste Collector (£18,460.08) 

  • Nursery Nurse (£18,461.75)

  • Retail Assistant (£18,831.75)

  • Stock Clerk (£19,041.47) 

Check-a-Salary’s Co-Founder Danny Aldridge said: “In this time of national crisis, the country is relying on key workers across a variety of industries to ensure we're healthy, safe and able to access the vital supplies we need. However, the data we have collected highlights how many of those working on our frontline are not being paid the salaries they deserve.”

Average salaries for key workers in the UK

Across the UK average salaries for key workers are varied. On average a waste collector will earn £18,886.50, less than 10% of the real Living Wage and around 40% less than the average UK wage. 

At the highest end of the scale, a doctor will earn an average of £77,880.32, which is a great deal more than the real Living Wage and the average UK salary.

Job Title




(Those highlighted in red are lower than the UK average salary of £29,822.20)

Boiler Engineer




Bus Driver




Call Centre Staff




Delivery Driver












Nurse Midwife




Nursery Nurse












Pharmacy Technicians




Police Officer




Port Manager




Prison Guard




Probation Officer




Retail Assistant




Social Worker




Stock Clerk








Waste Collector





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