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Disabled workers more likely to be low paid than non-disabled staff

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Seven in 10 disabled employees earn less than £15 an hour, and they are much more likely to be paid below this threshold compared to non-disabled workers.

Half of non-disabled employees earn less than £15 per hour by contrast, analysis of official statistics reveal.

The TUC also revealed that disabled women and disabled workers in the North of England and Wales are more likely to earn less.

More than nine in 10 disabled employees in these regions earn less than £15 an hour, compared to around three in five non-disabled workers.

The trade body added that for disabled women employees, the situation is “even worse”.

Seven in 10 disabled women earn less than £15 an hour, compared to just four in 10 non-disabled men.

Given its analysis and to tie in with its disabled workers conference today, the TUC is calling on ministers to bring in a legal requirement for employers to regularly report on how much they pay disabled workers compared to non-disabled workers.

It goes one step further as it wants to see employers fined if they do not deliver disabled workers’ legal right to reasonable adjustments.

Lastly, it is also calling on the minimum wage to rise to £15 an hour, a ban on zero hours contracts and an end on fire and rehire tactics.

Currently, the National Minimum Wage for 21-22 year olds is £10.18 an hour, while for workers aged 23 and older, the National Living Wage stands at £10.42 an hour.

‘Being disabled shouldn’t mean you’re paid less’

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.”

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