HR · 5 December 2018

Government urged to force employers to publish disability pay gaps

Disabled people earn nearly £3,000 a year less on average than non-disabled workers

The government is being urged to make it compulsory for employers to publish their disability pay gaps.

The TUC made its call as it published new analysis which revealed that the average pay gap for disabled workers has hit 15.2%. It means that disabled people earn nearly £3,000 a year less on average than non-disabled workers.

People with mental illnesses are also struggling with a pay gap of 29.8% with those suffering from depression facing a 26.3% gap.

Last week the government published a voluntary code to encourage employers to disclose the number of disabled people they employ, their career progression and pay.

But the TUC believes that without a legally binding requirement on companies to publish their pay gaps and set out what action they are taking to address them, progress will be too slow.

The TUC said far more needs to be done to remove the barriers facing disabled people in the workplace. Just half of working-age disabled people in the UK currently have a job, compared to four-fifths of non-disabled people.



Inside story: The National Living Wage impact on small business

Despite largely having been able to meet the challenges posed by the National Living Wage, the impact has been that small business profits have suffered.


For some disabled people, the TUC said, the problem is even worse. Only 3 in 10 people with a mental health disability are in work.

The TUC is calling on the government to introduce a statutory requirement for employers to report on their disability pay gaps and employment rates, and to publish action plans setting out how they will address them.

“Disabled people face the double whammy of poorer job prospects and lower pay,” said TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady.

“Paying lip service is not going to fix the problem. Employers must be legally required to publish their disability employment and pay gaps. A light-touch, voluntary approach simply won’t cut it “Large companies have to report their gender pay gaps. Disabled people deserve the same level of transparency.”

Read more about UK employment law:

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest from Business Advice.