Disabled workers pay gap widens

The pay gap for disabled workers is at its highest since 2013, and disabled workers now earn on average £1.50 less an hour than those without a disability. This is the highest pay gap since the government began publishing comparable data in 2013.

The TUC has made suggestions to improve this pay gap. The recommendations suggest that employers: consult, improve reasonable adjustments, record time off linked to disability as separate from sick leave, and advertise more jobs on a flexible and part time basis.

Additionally, and importantly, the TUC would like the government to consider introducing Disability Gap reporting, similar to the Gender Pay Gap reporting which came into force this year. It would require employers to publish their disability pay gap, along with the steps they will take to close it.

Legal comment

The TUC proposal for similar reporting to Gender Pay is likely to fall on receptive ears within the government. Ignoring the fact that there is huge general misunderstanding between equal pay and gender pay, the Gender Pay reporting is deemed to be successful.

As always, employers need to be conscious of the above recommendations to ensure they accommodate the needs of disabled workers. However, there are often very practical considerations that employers need to address when considering issues such as reasonable adjustments in the workplace and encouraging diversity in the workplace.   So it’s often prudent to assess what best practice looks like elsewhere.