AROUND seven in 10 (69 per cent) disabled employees earn less than £15 an hour, according to new analysis of official statistics published by the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

The analysis, published as the TUC’s disabled workers conference started in Bournemouth on 11 July, finds that disabled people are much more likely to be paid less than £15 per hour than non-disabled peers. Half of non-disabled employees (50 per cent) earn less than £15 per hour, compared to seven in 10 (69 per cent) disabled employees.

Regional and gender analysis  

The new TUC analysis shows that in some parts of the country, higher numbers of disabled employees earn less than £15 an hour.

In the North East and Wales (92 per cent and 94 per cent), more than nine in 10 disabled employees earn less than £15 an hour, compared to around three in five (60 per cent and 58 per cent respectively) non-disabled workers. And the situation is even worse for disabled women employees. Seven in 10 disabled women (70 per cent) earn less than £15 an hour, compared to just four in 10 (44 per cent) non-disabled men.

Government action needed  

To address the inequality faced by disabled workers, the TUC is calling on UK government ministers to bring in a legal requirement for employers to regularly report on how much they pay disabled workers compared to non-disabled workers. And the union body wants to see fines for employers that do not deliver disabled workers’ legal right to reasonable adjustments.

The TUC says ministers must also raise the national minimum wage to £15 per hour as soon as possible, and stamp out insecure work for disabled workers by banning zero hours contracts and putting an end to fire and rehire.

TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak said: “Disabled workers are struggling to make ends meet in this cost-of-living crisis, with rocketing bills and soaring inflation. Every worker deserves a decent job on decent pay. Being disabled should not mean you’re paid any less or are stuck on worse terms and conditions.

“The government has done very little so far to support disabled workers. It’s time for ministers to increase the minimum wage to £15 per hour as soon as possible and put an end to insecure work by banning zero hours contracts. And they must also introduce mandatory disability pay gap reporting to shine a light on inequality at work. Without this, millions of disabled people face a future of lower pay and in-work poverty.”

* Source: Trades Union Congress