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Government urged to tackle disability pay gap

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has urged the government to introduce mandatory disability pay gap reporting for businesses as the UK's disability pay gap increases for another year.

Research from the TUC showed non-disabled workers are paid 17.2% more on average than disabled workers, equivalent to an extra £3,731 a year. The gap has increased from 16.5% in 2021.

There was a gendered impact too as non-disabled men were paid 35% more than disabled women, equal to £7,144 a year.

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The financial and industrial services industry had the largest pay gap of any sector at 39%, followed by followed by agriculture, forestry and fishing (24%). 

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said mandatory disability pay gap reporting would help to fix the pay gap by identifying where problems exist.

She 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.

“During the pandemic, many disabled people were able to work flexibly or from home for the first time. We must ensure this continues – flexible workplaces are accessible workplaces and give everyone better work life balance. Ministers must change the law so that all jobs are advertised with flexible options clearly stated, and all workers have the legal right to work flexibly from their first day in a job."

In addition to mandatory reporting, the TUC called on government to address the disability pay gap by raising the minimum wage to £15 an hour, and provide more funding for the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to enforce disabled workers’ rights.

The body also called for flexible working for all workers from the their first day of employment, and a stronger legal framework that will ensure employers make adjustments for disabled staff.