Two in five disabled workers pushed into hardship

Government must act now to help disabled workers and their families, says TUC.

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According to new ONS data, the wage gap between disabled and non-disabled workers has dramatically grown and currently stands at 13.8%, up from 11.7% in 2014.

Two-fifths (40%) of disabled employees have been forced into financial hardship during the past year, according to a survey conducted by the TUC and released in November of last year.

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According to ONS data, disabled workers earn an average of £1.93 per hour less than non-disabled workers, a difference of nearly £3,500 per year based on a 35-hour work week.

The TUC is urging the government to pass an emergency budget to increase wages, pensions, and Universal Credit, and to reduce energy costs by taxing the windfall profits of energy companies.

The trade union organisation is also advocating for obligatory disability pay gap reporting for all firms with more than 50 employees, as well as a need for managers to develop specific action plans outlining the actions they would take to remedy any observed gaps.

In addition, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) should get particular funds to pursue the rights of disabled workers to reasonable working accommodations.

According to the TUC, this will enable lawyers, advisors, union representatives, and human resources departments administer the legislation correctly.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Disabled workers were among the hardest hit during the pandemic. And now millions of disabled workers face a living standards emergency – with lower pay than non-disabled workers, but higher energy and transport costs.

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“With bills and prices sky-rocketing, the government must act now to help disabled workers and all struggling families.

“That means coming back to parliament with an emergency budget to boost pay and universal credit, and cut energy bills.

“Disabled workers deserve better.

“It’s time for big employers to be forced to publish their disability pay gaps, to help shine a light on poor workplace practices that fuel inequality at work. Otherwise, millions of disabled workers will continue to face lower pay and in-work poverty.”

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