The disability pay gap is expanding
The TUC introduced Disability Pay Gap Day last year. It is the day of the year when the average disabled person stops being paid, compared to the average non-disabled person. Today’s report shows that this gap is extending, and unless drastic action is taken this will soon be a chasm.
A TUC report looks at the difference between the average hourly pay of disabled and non-disabled workers — which we call the disability pay gap, building on the research published for the first time in 2019.
The TUC’s analysis shows that the pay gap has widened to £3,800 — that’s £800 more compared to last year, and it’s expected to grow further as the economic fallout of Covid-19 hits.
Disabled worked now work 60 days a year for free compared to non-disabled workers — this is the equivalent of eight and half weeks — imagine your pay ending on the 1st November this year.
The findings in summary
- around half (53.7%) of disabled people are in work, compared to more than four-fifths (82%) of non-disabled people — a gap of 28%.
- the pay gap is 17.6% for disabled men, and 36% for disabled women (the pay gap for non-disabled women is 18.3%).
- disabled workers work on average 60 days a year without pay and the day they stop getting paid is Sunday 1st November (compared to 57 days in 2019).
- disabled workers are paid, on average, £2.10 an hour less than their non-disabled peers (an increase from £1.65 in 2019). This works out as an annual difference of £3,800 (based on a 35-hour work week). For disabled women, this is £3.68 an hour of £6,700 a year.
What needs to be done?
Of particularly concern is the employment situation of people who are considered “clinically extremely vulnerable” due to coronavirus which includes many disabled people.
The TUC is calling on the government to remove restrictions on support for clinically extremely vulnerable people who are advised not to attend workplaces (and cannot work from home) across the country. This support should have no minimum working hours requirement and be paid at 80% of their wages. Shielding may have ended, but covid-19 has not magically disappeared, and as daily figures confirm it is in wide circulation.
Secondly, the TUC are calling for mandatory disability pay gap reporting for all employers with more than fifty employees. This should be accompanied by a duty on employers to produce targeted action plans identifying the steps they will take to address any gaps identified, including ensuring disabled workers with invisible impairments feel confident in completing workplace equality monitoring.
While we wait for the Government to take action, Accord will be talking to the employers with work with to discuss actions that they can take to analyse their own pay data and ensure that disabled workers can continue to work even as we prepare for a tough pandemic winter.
“Today’s analysis shows the widening disadvantages faced by disabled workers and reconfirmed the urgent need for immediate intervention. As covid-19 continues to impact the economy, it’s essential for the Government to work with unions to build a package of support to keep disabled workers in employment. Inaction now will result in many years of significant hardship for many disabled workers, and risks creating a two-tier workforce.” - Chris Rimell
About the Accord ED&I group
The Accord Equality Diversity & Inclusion group aims to ensure every individual has the right to an equal opportunity to maximise their potential, regardless of background, and to be treated with dignity and respect. It’s a place where diversity is celebrated, and all contributions are welcomed and cherished without prejudice or judgement. It’s also a chance to collectively learn from our experiences, allowing us to remove barriers and enrich each other’s lives.
If you’ve been affected by any of the issues that we’ve discussed here and you want to talk to us confidentially, or if you want to give us any feedback on what’s been happening in your workplace: contact us at [email protected]