Disability Pay Gap

Back to all Motions

2022 National Disabled Members' Conference
7 July 2022

Conference is concerned about the widening disability pay gap and the impact on our Disabled Members. The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that on average disabled people are paid almost 14% less than non-disabled people.

Further analysis of the data shows that the type of disability also impacts on the pay gap. The gap for people who say their day-to-day activities are limited a lot is 20% while people with autism are paid, on average, a massive 33.5% less than non-disabled people.

The disability pay gap is consistently wider for disabled men than disabled women. For example men with epilepsy experience a pay gap of almost 40% (around 20% for women with epilepsy). This could, to some extent, be due to non-disabled men earning more than non-disabled women but it is important to recognise the different gender issues when tackling the disability pay gap.

Conference disabled people, including our Disabled Members, earn on average £2 an hour less than their non-disabled colleagues. Disabled employees work the equivalent of two months, that’s over a day a week every single week, for free.

Almost 10 years ago the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) reported that at the current rate of progress the disability pay gap in the UK would never end. Since then the gap has continued to widen.

Generic initiatives aimed at increasing income and reducing pay gaps, such as the national minimum wage, have had no impact on the disability pay gap. The latest data available (2017) shows only 3% of employers monitor the disability pay gap. Without evidence tackling the disability pay gap is almost impossible.

Conference instructs National Disabled Members Committee to:

1)Work with signatories to the Disability Employment Charter and other trade unions to launch a campaign to require all employees with over 250 employees to publish annually:

i)The number of disabled people they employ as a proportion of their workforces

ii)The percentage of disabled people they employ at each level of the organisation

iii)The disability pay gap in the organisation

2. Carry out a survey of members or include a question in the equality survey to identify how the disability pay gap impacts on our Disabled Members

3. Promote Disability Pay Gap Day every year to raise awareness of the disability pay gap

4. Work with Labour Link to lobby the Labour Party to include Disability Pay Gap monitoring in their next manifesto.