Ministers have missed chance to help disabled workers, says TUC

29 Jul 2021 12:16 PM

Responding to the government’s disability strategy, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady yesterday said:

“Everyone should have an equal chance to earn a living and pursue a career. But disabled people still face huge barriers at work. And the government has once again missed the chance to act.

“Disabled people are far less likely to be in paid employment – and when they are, they are hit by a 20 per cent pay gap, which is growing year-on-year. The way to end this is to make employers report on their disability pay gaps – but ministers have failed to support this in the disability strategy.

“Disabled workers have a legal right to the reasonable adjustments they need – but two-fifths of disabled workers aren’t getting them. Ministers should have taken the opportunity to strengthen the duty on employers to provide reasonable adjustments.

“And ministers should get on with their long-promised plans to make flexible working the default, by giving all workers a day one right to work flexibly. This could be transformative for disabled workers.”

Editors Note

  1. a legal duty on employers to consider which flexible working arrangements are available in a role and publish these in job advertisements, with the new postholder having a day one right to take up the flexible working arrangements that have been advertised. If an employer does not think that any flexible working arrangements are possible, they should be required to set out the exceptional circumstances that justify this decision.
  2. a day one right to request flexible working for all workers, with the criteria for rejection mirroring the exceptional circumstances set out above. Workers should have a right to appeal and no restrictions on the number of flexible working requests made.


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