UK disability pay gap now at 15.5%

According to research by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), the current disability pay gap in the UK means that disabled people work on average two months of the year for free.

Disability Pay Gap 2019

Disability pay gap statistics in the UK 2019

  • the disability pay gap for all employees is currently at 15.5%
  • disabled workers on average earn £1.65 per hour less than non-disabled workers
  • disabled workers earn £10.63 per hour compared to £12.28 per hour for non-disabled workers
  • the gap is around £3,000 per year based on a 35-hour week

According to the TUC, the current disability pay gap equates to disabled workers effectively working for free for the last 57 days (or 8 weeks) of the year.

Disability employment gap statistics in the UK 2019

As well as being paid less than their non-disabled peers, the research also found that disabled workers are less likely to be in employment:

  • around half (51.8%) of disabled people are in work
  • four-fifths (81.6%) of non-disabled people are in work
  • the disability employment gap stands at 29.8 percentage points

What are the effects of the disability pay gap?

The TUC say that many disabled people who want to work face barriers when accessing employment. Not only that, the pay gap has caused many disabled employees to go without basics, such as food and central heating, because their wages don't stretch far enough.

According to a poll of 2,700 people by the TUC and GQR:

  • 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

What can be done about the disability pay gap?

On the findings, the TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady said:

"Everybody deserves a fair chance to get a job with decent pay. Being disabled should not exclude you from choosing to work. And it should not mean you're put on a lower wage.

 "The next government must show they care about disabled people in Britain today. A good start would be a new law to make employers publish their disability pay gap and a plan of action to address it."

See also

Full-time gender pay gap widens to 8.9%

What are the benefits of an employee assistance programme (EAP)?

Find out more

Disability employment and pay gaps 2019 (TUC)

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