OFFICE FOR NATIONAL STATISTICS (ONS) figures, published on 25 April show that disabled workers earn on average £1.93 per hour less than non-disabled employees, a gap of over £3,500 per year based on a 35-hour week.

Commenting on the figures, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Disabled workers were among the hardest hit during the pandemic  And now millions of disabled workers face a living standards emergency – with lower pay than non-disabled workers, but higher energy and transport costs.

“With bills and prices sky-rocketing, the government must act now to help disabled workers and all struggling families. That means coming back to parliament with an emergency budget to boost pay and  universal credit, and cut energy bills.

“Disabled workers deserve better. It’s time for big employers to be forced to publish their disability pay gaps, to help shine a light on poor workplace practices that fuel inequality at work. Otherwise, millions of disabled workers will continue to face lower pay and in-work poverty.”

The ONS figures also show that the pay gap between disabled and non-disabled employees has widened, and now stands at 13.8 per cent, up from 11.7 per cent in 2014.

TUC polling published last November revealed that two in five (40 per cent) disabled workers have been pushed into financial hardship over the last year during the pandemic.

The TUC is calling on the government to deliver:

  • An emergency budget to boost pay, pensions and universal credit, and cut energy bills through a windfall tax on energy company profits.
  • Mandatory disability pay gap reporting for all employers with more than 50 employees. This should be accompanied by a duty on bosses to produce targeted action plans identifying the steps they will take to address any gaps identified.
  • Enforcement of reasonable adjustments: The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) should get specific funding to enforce disabled workers’ rights to reasonable adjustments and should update their statutory code of practice to include more examples of reasonable adjustments, to help disabled workers get the adjustments they need quickly and effectively. This will help lawyers, advisers, union reps and human resources departments apply the law properly.

* The new ONS figures on the disability pay gap are here.

* Source: Trades Union Congress