Non-disabled employees now earn one-sixth (17.2%) more than disabled workers in 2022, an increase from the 16.5% disability pay gap last year, according to analysis published by the Trades Union Congress (TUC).
The research found that the disability pay gap for 2022 was £2.05 an hour, or £3,731 per year for those working a 35-hour week. The pay gap starts at age 20 at 65 pence an hour and increases to a peak of £3.55 an hour, or £6,461 a year, for disabled workers aged 40 to 44.
Non-disabled men were found to be paid on average 35% more than disabled women, at £3.93 an hour, or £7,144 a year, and the highest pay gaps are in the South East at 22% or £2.78 an hour, and the West Midlands and the South West, which are both 17% or £2.20 an hour.
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The biggest gap was in financial and industrial services, at 39% or £5.90 an hour, followed by agriculture, forestry and fishing (24%) and mining and quarrying and admin and support services (both 18%).
Additionally, disabled individuals were found to be twice as likely as non-disabled people to be unemployed, at 6.8% compared to 3.4%, and 10.9% of black and minority ethnic disabled people were unemployed compared to 2.8% of white non-disabled people.
The TUC stated that it written to women and equalities minister Kemi Badenoch to call for urgent action to address the disability pay gap, wanting mandatory reporting for all employers with more than 50 employees and businesses to produce action plans identifying the steps they will take to address any gaps identified.
Frances O’Grady, general secretary at the TUC, said: “Everybody deserves a fair chance to get a job with decent pay. Being disabled should not mean you’re on a lower wage, or that you’re excluded from the jobs market altogether. It’s time to introduce mandatory disability pay gap reporting to shine a light on inequality at work. Without this, millions of disabled workers will be consigned to years of lower pay and in-work poverty.”