Working from home is privilege for wealthiest with low-income employees having no option but to commute, figures show

WORKING from home is a privilege for the wealthiest — with low-income employees having no option but to commute, official figures show.

The pandemic saw staff being told to stay at home, but it is now mostly those on larger salaries who still enjoy that luxury.


Working from home is a privilege for the wealthiest[/caption]

Workers who must travel to work by occupation

Three quarters of those earning less than £10,000 a year must travel to work, according to the Office for National Statistics.

For those earning between £30,000 and £40,000, the figure is 40 per cent.

But it is only 10 per cent for those on £50,000 and above.

It means low-income earners have higher transport costs just to do their jobs.

Many Brits are “hybrid” workers, meaning they are able to choose to go into work on two or three days a week.

But even that option is far less likely to be available to those on the lowest incomes.

Only five per cent of them could do a mix of work and home — but 90 per cent in the top wage bracket could do so.

Regarding occupations, the ONS said 89 per cent of staff who have so-called “elementary” jobs — including hospitality workers, window cleaners, shelf stackers and farmers — have no option but to turn up every day.

However, only 19 per cent of professional workers could never do their jobs at home.

Home working has been hailed as a way for employees to have a greater life balance.

Some big companies such as Spotify and Airbnb have told employees they can work from home exclusively — and parents say it helps with school drop-offs.

But the ONS figures showed mums and dads have only slightly higher levels of hybrid working — at 31 per cent, compared to 26 per cent for childless people. 

In London four in 10 employees do hybrid working — the highest ratio in the country.

It’s putty good, Sky

GIANT Morph, Miffy and Where’s Wally cartoon characters have popped up across London to mark the launch of a new Sky Kids TV channel.

A poll of 2,000 Brits ranked the plasticine Morph the third fave kids’ character of all time, behind Sooty & Sweep and Basil Brush.

Joe Pepler/PinPep

A giant Morph is revealed by London’s Tower Bridge to mark the launch of Sky Kids[/caption]

Peter Lord, co-creator of Morph and founder of Aard-Man Studios, said: “Morph was there when today’s parents were kids.”

EU economy lift

EUROPE is expected to ­“narrowly avoid” a recession this year as falling gas ­prices spell a brighter outlook for the Continent.

The eurozone economy is predicted to grow by 0.9 per cent, better than previous forecasts of 0.3 per cent, as its economy entered a “firmer footing than anticipated”.

Paolo Gentiloni, EU economic commissioner, said inflationary peak was now “behind it” and “risks of recession and gas shortages have faded”.

The figures come just days after official figures showed that the UK has so far dodged a recession.

Liberty takers

VODAFONE had another wake-up call yesterday after Liberty Global, the US firm chaired by “cable cowboy” John Malone, declared it had a near five per cent stake. 

Mike Fries, Liberty Global’s chief executive, said he believed Vodafone, which has lost almost a third of its value in the past year, was cheap.

He said the firm “fully expect . . . this investment will be replenished with the sale of non-core assets over time”.

Liberty Global is understood to not be interested in a bid for Vodafone, which is still in talks about a potential merger with Three UK.

Curtis in Barclays ban plea

FILM-MAKER Richard Curtis might be best known for his romcoms but he’s using Valentine’s Day to urge customers to “break up with Barclays” bank.

The Love Actually director- turned-climate activist has launched a “Make My Money Matter” campaign to urge British banks to dump their fossil fuel funding.

Richard Curtis is urging customers to ‘break up with Barclays’ bank

He says that between 2016 and 2021 Barclays provided £50 billion of funding to the top 50 oil and gas companies for new oil and gas sites — despite global commitments on climate change.

The campaign wants high street banks to stop directly financing new fossil fuel expansion and end relationships with those who do not stop.

Lloyds and HSBC have already announced they will not provide financing for new oil, gas and coal projects while NatWest has also tweaked its fossil fuel funding policy.

Airport soaring

HEATHROW has toasted its busiest start to the year since the pandemic with 5.4 million passengers escaping the January blues.  

The figure is still some way behind the six million who passed through in January 2020 before Covid hit.

Outgoing boss John Holland-Kaye said the airport was “back to its best”.

And he added that services for the half-term holidays were “going very well”.