Coronavirus: UK employees seek more ethical jobs

Kalila Sangster
·2-min read
ARCHIVO - Esta fotografía de archivo del 21 de mayo de 2013 muestra el exterior de una tienda de Oxfam en Londres. Trabajadores de Oxfam sospechosos de conducta sexual inapropiada en Haití intimidaron y amenazaron a un testigo mientras ese organismo de ayuda humanitaria investigaba las primeras acusaciones, según el informe que publicó sobre la pesquisa interna. (Nick Ansell/PA vía AP, archivo)
Oxfam climbed 22 places in Universum's Most Attractive Employers ranking. Photo: Nick Ansell/PA via AP

The coronavirus pandemic has caused a shift in UK workers’ priorities when job hunting, with employees seeking more ethical jobs and turning towards more socially-conscious employers, a new survey of over 23,000 people by employer branding specialist Universum found.

Companies with a strong social purpose have become more desirable employers over the last year, according to Universum’s annual Most Attractive Employers report, which looks at the employers workers prefer, their career expectations, and how these have changed since the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK.

The British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, entered the top 20 preferred companies for the first time this year, climbing 16 places to number 14.

The Environment Agency also rose 16 places to number 30, and Oxfam saw one of the biggest advances — going up 22 places.

The NHS held on to the number one spot as the top British preferred employer.

READ MORE: UK government to support job training to tackle COVID-19 unemployment

Facebook (FB) has lost its place in the top 20 for the first time in five years, falling 24 places to number 37. Before 2019, the social media giant had consistently been in the top 10.

COVID-19 has seen a significant drop in earning confidence among women and the opposite for men, with the gap between salary expectations growing during the pandemic, according to the report. In 2020 men expect to earn 25% more than women — up from 12% more in 2018.

Men’s salary expectations have risen since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic — going up from £40,500 ($51,927) in 2019 to £41,600 in 2020 while women’s expectations have fallen from £31,400 to £31,000.

More than a third (35%) of workers said COVID-19 would make them adapt their career plans, with 33% of respondents saying that they would consider leaving the UK and moving abroad in the wake of the pandemic.

Respondents also said the pandemic had prompted them to consider changing employers or changing the industry they were hoping to have a career in.

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