Disabled workers in the UK work an average of two months of the year for free, according to research from the TUC.
The news was revealed in the first-ever Disability Pay Gap Day (Monday this week) research, the purpose of which was to highlight the day of the year on which disabled workers stopped getting paid compared to the average non-disabled worker.
The current disability pay gap for all employees stands at 15.5%; this means that disabled people effectively log 57 days (or eight weeks) for free. The analysis also found that only around half (51.8%) of disabled people are in work, compared to more than four-fifths (81.6%) of non-disabled people – a gap of 29.8 percentage points.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady, said: “Everybody deserves a fair chance to get a job with decent pay. Being disabled should not exclude you from choosing to work. And it should not mean you’re put on a lower wage.
“The current government has behaved like they just don’t care. From PIP to pay, they have failed disabled people. Support for independent living has been scrapped. And at every turn, disabled people have been at the frontline of austerity.
“The next government must show they care about disabled people in Britain today.
"A good start would be a new law to make employers publish their disability pay gap and a plan of action to address it.”
The report insinuates that the current government has done little to help disabled workers. And the TUC says it is part of a pattern of how disabled people’s needs have been neglected, and their support cut.
Below is what the TUC believe has been neglected by the current Government:
Failure to reduce the employment gap: Despite a 2015 Conservative manifesto promise to halve the disability employment gap, very little progress has been made.
Cuts to support: The replacement of Disability Living Allowance with Personal Independence Payment (PIP) has led to fewer disabled people qualifying for support. And PIP is frequently wrongly denied to people, with 68% of appeal hearings found in favour of the claimant.
“Punitive and mean”: In May this year, a United Nations envoy condemned the current government as "punitive, mean-spirited and often callous" in its treatment of the country's poorest, highlighting the removal of financial support for many disabled people.
Lack of action on pay gap: The government has resisted calls to bring in a law to require employers to publish their disability pay gap.