Disability pay gap: new TUC research

The TUC has released new research; this found that the current disability pay gap for all employees stands at 15.5%. This pay gap means that disabled people effectively work for free for the last 57 days (or 8 weeks) of the year.

The analysis also found that disabled workers earn on average £1.65 per hour less than non-disabled workers, which is a gap of around £3,000 per year based on a 35-hour week.

Financial Stress

The disability pay gap impacts on the lives of disabled workers.

A TUC/GQR poll found that disabled workers are more likely to resort to going without basics to get by than other workers.

  • 20% of disabled workers have put off buying children’s clothes due to lack of money, compared to 12% of non-disabled workers
  • 34% of disabled workers have cut back on food for themselves, compared to 18% of non-disabled workers
  • 35% of disabled workers have gone without heating on a cold day, compared to 17% of non-disabled workers

Disability employment gap

Not only are disabled people paid less, they are also less likely to be in employment than their non-disabled peers. Many disabled people who want to work face barriers to accessing employment.

Only around half (51.8%) of disabled people are in work, compared to more than four-fifths (81.6%) of non-disabled people – a gap of 29.8 percentage points.

Variations by impairment

The disabled workers with the lowest employment rates, grouped according to the ONS Labour Force Survey (LFS) classifications, are people with:

  • learning difficulties – 14.8 per cent in employment
  • speech impediments – 20.4 per cent in employment
  • epilepsy – 33.6 per cent in employment
  • mental illness, phobias or panics – 33.7 per cent in employment
  • impairments linked to arms, hands – 38.4 per cent in employment

TUCanalysis found that disabled people with some impairment types have far higher pay gaps. Those with the highest pay gaps, grouped according to the ONS Labour Force Survey (LFS) classifications, are people with:

  • learning difficulties (62.6 per cent)
  • mental illness, phobia, panics (30.9 per cent)
  • depression, bad nerves (24 per cent)
  • diabetes (22.8 per cent)
  • skin conditions, allergies (21.2 per cent)
  • impairments linked to heart, blood, pressure, circulation (20 per cent)
  • impairments linked to chest, breathing problems (18.6 per cent)

You can read the full report here.