News | Published December 02 2019

ONS: Disabled workers paid 12.2% less

According to figures published by the Office for National Statistics, average pay for disabled workers is 12.2 per cent less than their non-disabled colleagues.

The ONS based this new study on the Government Statistical Service definition of disability.

Under this definition, “disabled” equates to an individual with “a physical or mental health condition, or illness that has lasted or is expected to last 12 months or more, that reduces their ability to carry out day-to-day activities.”

According to this definition, the ONS stated that 18.9 per cent of the people aged between 16 and 64 in the UK were disabled.

Studying disability pay gaps across the UK for the first time, the ONS found that median pay for disabled workers was £10.63 while non-disabled workers received £12.11.

Beyond this core statistic, the report also found that this pay gap was wider for men than women and that London had the widest disparity in pay.

In London, the average difference in pay stood at 15.3 per cent, with the gap narrowest in Scotland where the difference is 8.3 per cent.

Differences in pay are not uniform across all disabilities. Workers with SEND faced with the largest pay gap, 18.6 per cent, while the gap for workers with physical disabilities stood at 9.7 per cent.

Responding to these statistics, Angela Matthews, head of policy and research at Business Disability Forum, said: “Disabled workers are not ‘one group’. Some people with disabilities do not experience many barriers in work, and others experience many, multiple barriers.

“But we know that unjustified attitudes about what various groups of disabled people can and can’t do are still widespread, and affect many employment related issues, including equal pay, bonus pay and pay increases.”

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Authored by

George Salmon
Political Editor
December 02 2019

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