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Don’t Ask, Don’t Assume  

Published date
The government has launched a new disability awareness campaign, #AskDontAssume. Disabled people have had to point out that the campaign is offensive and harmful. But the government are not listening to disabled people. 

The campaign encourages the public to ask disabled people questions about their lives. This can often be intrusive and upsetting.  

The irony is that this is the same government that have done so much to stigmatize disabled people. They have cut services to the bone, and used disabled people as a scapegoat. And they have taken no meaningful action to address systematic barriers.  

In fact, disabled workers are on the sharp end of the pay and cost of living crisis created by the government.  

Seven in ten (69%) disabled workers now earn less than £15 an hour. That's compared to half (50%) of non-disabled workers.  

And disabled people are much more likely to be on zero hours contracts. 

We need action from the government, not a fluffy PR campaign that will lead to even more harm.

Here are five things that the government should do, that would actually be helpful: 

1. Raise the minimum wage to £15 an hour as soon as possible, to tackle the low pay that impacts disabled workers. 

2. Stamp out insecure work by banning zero hours contracts and ending fire and rehire. 

3. Make employers put reasonable adjustments in place for disabled workers. And bring in fines for employers that don't. 

4. Bring in disability pay gap reporting. Employers should have to publish how much they pay disabled workers, compared to non-disabled workers. 

5. Make flexible working the norm for everyone.  

Disabled workers need a pay rise and better terms and conditions at work – not another meaningless PR exercise. 

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