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3 in 4 disabled workers earn less than £15 an hour

New TUC analysis reveals more than three million disabled workers earn less than £15 an hour

  • Disabled workers also more likely to be on precarious zero-hours contracts or unemployed than non-disabled workers 
  • Union body says ministers have done “bare minimum” on minimum wage and calls for increase to £15 an hour   

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of disabled workers earn less than £15 an hour, according to new analysis of official statistics published recently (Wednesday) by the TUC. 

The analysis – published recently during disability history month – reveals that 3.09 million disabled workers around the UK are paid under the median wage of around £15 an hour. 

Around half (54%) of non-disabled workers are paid less than this amount. 

The TUC argues that disabled workers are over-represented in low-paid work – and says that the new increase in the minimum wage announced by the Chancellor in the Autumn statement doesn’t go anywhere near far enough in lifting workers out of poverty. 

Regional and industrial analysis 

The new analysis shows that in some parts of the country, even more disabled workers earn less than £15 an hour. 

More than four in five disabled workers in the West Midlands (85%) and the North East (82%) earn less than £15 an hour, compared to around three in five (58% and 64%) of non-disabled workers in those regions. 

And in some industries, most disabled people are paid less than £15 an hour. Nine in 10 disabled workers in wholesale, retail, repair of vehicles (94%) and arts, entertainment and recreation (89%) are paid less than £15. 

Zero-hours contracts 

The analysis found that disabled workers are more likely than non-disabled workers to be employed on a zero-hours contract (4.4% compared to 2.9%) with no guarantee of shifts from one week to the next. 

The TUC says zero-hours contracts hand the employer total control over their workers’ hours and earning power. 

This means workers never know how much they will earn each week, and their income is subject to the whims of managers. 

The union body argues that this makes it hard for workers to plan their lives, look after their children and get to medical appointments. 

And it makes it harder for workers to challenge unacceptable behaviour by bosses because of concerns about whether they will be penalised by not being allocated hours in future. 

Unemployment 

Not only are disabled workers paid less than non-disabled workers, they are also more likely to be excluded from the job market. 

Disabled workers are now twice as likely as non-disabled workers to be unemployed (6.8% compared to 3.4%).   

In November, the TUC published analysis showing that the pay gap between non-disabled and disabled workers has widened and is now 17.2%, or £3,700 a year.

Click here for the full press release

 

Original article link: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/3-4-disabled-workers-earn-less-ps15-hour

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