Disabled staff earn 15% less than non-disabled peers

disabled staff earnDisabled workers earn 15% less than non-disabled staff, according to research by Trades Union Congress (TUC).

Its findings, which were published on Disability Pay Gap Day (14 November), from which disabled people effectively work for free for the rest of the year, also revealed that the pay gap for disabled workers equates to £1.90 an hour, or £66.50 per week.

The pay gap has fallen 17% since last year, when it was £2.05 an hour, but it is now higher than it was a decade ago (13%) when the first comparable pay data was recorded, and slightly lower than the first Disability Pay Gap Day in 2019 (15%).

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The research also highlighted that non-disabled men are paid, on average, 30% more than disabled women, equating to £3.73 an hour, £130.55 a week, or £6,780 a year.

The highest pay gaps are in Wales (22% or £2.53 an hour), followed by the South East (20% or £2.78 an hour) and the East of England (18% or £2.30 an hour). The biggest pay gap is in financial and industrial services, where the pay gap stands at 33% (£5.60 an hour).

Disabled workers (7%) are twice as likely as non-disabled workers (3%) to be unemployed, whereas 10% Black and mixed ethnicity disabled workers are unemployed compared to 3% white non-disabled workers.

Disabled employees (5%) are also more likely than non-disabled workers (3%) to be on zero-hours contracts, while disabled Black and mixed ethnicity women (6%) are nearly three times as likely as non-disabled white men (2%) to be on this type of contract.

Paul Nowak, general secretary at TUC, said: “We all deserve to be paid fairly for the work we do. But disabled people continue to be valued less in our jobs market. It’s shameful there has been zero progress on the disability pay gap in the last decade. Being disabled shouldn’t mean you are given a lower wage or left out of the jobs market altogether. Too many disabled people are held back at work, not getting the reasonable adjustments they need to do their jobs.”