Nearly seven in 10 (69%) disabled staff are being paid less than £15 per hour, new analysis has found.
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) discovered that among employees without disabilities, half (50%) earned an hourly rate below this figure.
According to the union body’s analysis, the situation is worse in certain parts of the country, where a greater number of disabled workers are being paid less than £15 per hour. For example, more than nine in 10 people in the northeast and Wales are being paid under this amount, at 92% and 94% respectively.
Published to coincide with TUC’s disabled workers conference starting in Bournemouth today (11 July), the study showed that disabled female staff were found to be the worst off, with seven in 10 (70%) being paid an hourly rate of less than £15, compared to around four in 10 (44%) non-disabled male workers.
In light of the findings, the TUC is urging ministers to bring in new laws to ensure employers regularly report on how much they are paying disabled staff compared to those without disabilities. It is also calling for fines to be imposed on employers that do not provide reasonable adjustments for disabled employees, which are legally required.
Additionally, the body believes the national minimum hourly wage must be raised to £15 as soon as possible, zero-hours contracts should be banned and “fire and rehire” tactics should be stopped.
TUC general secretary Paul Nowak said: “Disabled workers are struggling to make ends meet in this cost-of-living crisis, with rocketing bills and soaring inflation.
“Every worker deserves a decent job on decent pay. Being disabled should not mean you’re paid any less or are stuck on worse terms and conditions.
“The government has done very little so far to support disabled workers. It’s time for ministers to increase the minimum wage to £15 per hour as soon as possible and put an end to insecure work by banning zero-hours contracts.
“And they must also introduce mandatory disability pay gap reporting to shine a light on inequality at work. Without this, millions of disabled people face a future of lower pay and in-work poverty.”