ONE in six Brits is in danger of losing their job because of coronavirus, a report claims.
It suggests 5.6million of the 32million workforce could be left out of work.
But Government schemes to pay wages may fail to catch all of them, forcing millions on to benefits.
Four groups of workers are at the highest risk, experts say.
Three — those on fixed-term contracts, zero-hours contracts, and part-timers not doing all the hours they want — may not qualify for help if their bosses decide it is easier to fire them.
The fourth, the self-employed, will get 80 per cent of their earnings but not until June when many micro businesses will have folded.
Of the 5.6million, some 1.6million work in industries that have been closed, such as restaurants and retail shops, and are at high risk of losing their jobs.
The New Economics Foundation, which did the analysis, urged Chancellor Rishi Sunak to create a bigger safety net for the surge of new jobless. Instead of relying on Universal Credit, it wants a £221 a week guaranteed minimum income introduced for all working-age adults.
Head of economics Alfie Stirling said: “Despite the Government’s interventions to protect jobs and pay, millions could face the prospect of relying on benefits for the first time.
“But Universal Credit payments are insufficient to meet basic living costs. Having made welcome moves to prevent job losses, government must now turn to strengthening the UK’s safety net as well.
“If not, we risk consigning millions to the poverty trap through no fault of their own — a trap that many may struggle to break out of.”
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