TUC Calls For Employers To Report Disability Pay Gaps

The TUC has called on the government to make it mandatory to publish disability pay gaps following the publication of research revealing that disabled people earn almost £3,000 a year less on average than their non-disabled counterparts.

The average pay gap for disabled employees is now at 15.2 per cent or £2,821 a year, but for those with mental illnesses and depression, the pay gap is even worse at 29.8 per cent and 26.3 per cent respectively.

As the TUC states, more needs to be done to remove the barriers facing disabled people in the workplace. Just 50.5 per cent of disabled people of working age in the UK have jobs, compared to 81.1 per cent of those without disabilities. For those with mental health disabilities, just 30.4 per cent are in work.

Frances O’Grady, general-secretary of the union, commented on the findings, saying: “Disabled people face the double whammy of poorer job prospects and lower pay. Paying lip service is not going to fix the problem. Employers must be legally required to publish their disability employment and pay gaps. A light-touch, voluntary approach simply won’t cut it. Large companies have to report their gender pay gaps. Disabled people deserve the same level of transparency.”

Last month (November), ministers published a voluntary code designed to encourage companies to disclose how many people with disabilities they employ, as well as their career progression and their pay. But the TUC has noted that without a legally binding requirement on employers to publish this information and to detail what action they’re taking to address these issues, progress will simply be too slow.

Similarly, businesses offering customers the chance to buy online have also been advised that they need to provide accessibility options so disabled people can make their delivery needs known.

Charity Citizens Advice found that nearly one in three disabled people missed a delivery because they weren’t given sufficient time to reach the front door. And one in four postal service users who do have disabilities said they feel rushed, anxious or irritated when it comes to accepting deliveries at home.

A delivery charter has now been developed by the statutory consumer advocate for postal services, setting out guidelines for retailers and operators to help improve online shopping and delivery experiences.

This includes both operators and retailers collaborating in order to make sure that disabled consumers can specify their additional delivery needs. For example, steps could be taken to ensure that all pick-up and drop-off points meet the needs of this demographic, by making sure there is level access at each location and ensuring that accessibility features are renewed each year.

Gillian Guy, Citizens Advice chief executive, noted that this should be an “easy fix” for brands who do have a duty to consider the accessibility needs of their customers.

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