Disabled workers face “living standards emergency”
Latest Office of National Statistics figures show disabled workers now earn on average £1.93 per hour less than non-disabled employees.
Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, said:
“Disabled workers were among the hardest hit during the pandemic, and they now face a living standards emergency – with lower pay than non-disabled workers, but higher energy and transport costs. With bills and prices skyrocketing, the government must act now to help disabled workers and all struggling families. That means coming back to parliament with an emergency budget to boost pay and universal credit and cut energy bills. Otherwise, millions of disabled workers will continue to face lower pay and in-work poverty.”
The ONS figures show that the pay gap between disabled and non-disabled employees has widened, now standing at 13.8 per cent, up from 11.7 per cent in 2014. TUC polling published last November revealed that two in five (40 per cent) disabled workers have been pushed into financial hardship over the last year during the pandemic.
The NUJ supports the TUC’s call for mandatory disabled pay gap data reporting for all employers with more than 50 employees. The legislation 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.