Disabled workers earn an average £1.50 less per hour than those without a disability, according to the TUC’s Disability employment and pay gaps 2018 report – the biggest gap in pay since the Government began publishing comparable data in 2013.

The report revealed that in 2017 the average hourly rate of pay for a disabled worker was £9.90, compared to £11.40 for a non-disabled employee.

This meant that the average disabled employee working a 35-hour week earned £2,730 less a year than a worker without a disability.

Less than half of people with a disability as defined by the Equality Act 2010 were in employment compared with an employment rate of 80% among non-disabled workers.

The TUC claimed that the disability pay gap has many causes, but one of them was the higher proportion of disabled people in part-time work than non-disabled people. More than a third of disabled workers worked part time, attracting a lower rate of pay, compared with less than a quarter of non-disabled employees.

Disabled people were also more likely to be employed in a lower-paid profession than those without a disability such as in sales and customer service, leisure, caring and administrative and secretarial roles.

“Too many disabled people face lower pay and worse jobs than their non-disabled peers.


“New rules to make bosses reveal gender pay gaps have been successful at shining a light on the problem. We’d like the government to consider a similar law requiring employers to publish their disability pay gap, along with the steps they will take to close it.”

Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary

Women with a disability faced a larger pay gap than disabled men. The average hourly rate of pay was £12 for a disabled woman, compared with £15.40 for a disabled man.

The TUC suggested employers should:

  • Consult with disabled staff and trade unions on how to address the disability pay gap
  • Improve performance in putting in place reasonable adjustments for disabled workers
  • Record time off linked to disability separately from sick leave, and
  • Advertise more jobs on a flexible and part time basis

You can read more about your rights as a disabled worker here.

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