Recent research by The Office of National Statistics’ (ONS) and Trades Union Congress (TUC) highlights the disadvantages suffered by disabled people in the workplace.
Report into disabled workers pay
In its recent report, the ONS report that the pay gap for disabled workers in the UK is 12.2%. Based on statistics, they report that for every £1 earned by a non-disabled worker in 2018, a disabled worker earned 88p.
Whilst some of the differences in average pay can be accounted for by factors such as occupation and qualification, it is clear that more needs to be done to tackle the disadvantages that disabled people face in both securing employment and whilst in work.
Workers with a mental impairment are reported to suffer the most, with a pay gap of 18.6%, followed by workers with physical impairments (such as hearing, speech, sight or limb problems) suffering a pay gap of 9.7%.
The TUC has launched a petition in response to findings calling on the Government to introduce legislation which would make it compulsory for employers to publish their disability pay gaps in the same way as larger employers are currently required to publish details of their gender pay gaps.
Both the Conservative and Labour government manifestos pledge to address this area of concern, but what action will be taken and how quickly remains to be seen following the results of the upcoming election.
For more information on party manifestos click here.
In the meantime, employers need to be very mindful of the fact that employees are entitled to bring a claim in respect of their pay and benefits (and any disparities with those) under various legislation.
Employers would be well advised to carry out an audit of the pay within their organisation and seek to correct any disparities to avoid facing potentially costly litigation and the argument that they have treated an employee less favourably on the grounds of disability.