According to figures just published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), disabled employees faced a pay gap of 13.8 per cent in 2021 compared to non-disabled employees, a slight narrowing of the gap compared to 2019 when it stood at 14.1 per cent.

In 2021, they earned a median of £12.10 per hour, while non-disabled employees earned a median of £14.03 per hour. In 2019, on the other hand, disabled employees earned a median of £10.87 per hour with non-disabled employees on £12.66 per hour.

The disability pay gap in 2021 has, however, widened slightly compared with 2014 when the median earnings of disabled employees were £9.71 per hour compared to non-disabled employees who were being paid £11.00 per hour. In other words, a pay gap of 11.7 per cent.

The disability pay gap is consistently worse for men than women. In 2021, the median pay for disabled men was 12.4 per cent less than non-disabled men, while the median pay for disabled women was 10.5 per cent less than non-disabled women. This seems to be based on the fact that women on average earn less than men generally.

According to polling by the TUC last year, 40 per cent of disabled workers have been pushed into financial hardship over the last year during the pandemic. 

It is therefore calling on the government to deliver: 

  • An emergency budget to boost pay, pensions and universal credit and cut energy bills through a windfall tax on energy company profits.
  • Mandatory disability pay gap reporting for all employers with more than 50 employees. This should be accompanied by a duty on those employers to produce targeted action plans identifying the steps they intend to take to address any gaps identified.
  • Specific funding for the Equality and Human Rights Commission to enforce disabled workers’ rights to reasonable adjustments and update their statutory code of practice to include more examples of reasonable adjustments in order to help lawyers, advisers, union reps and human resources departments to apply the law properly.  

To read the ONS figures in full, click here

To read the TUC polling in detail, click here