Voluntary code won’t help close disability pay gap of £3,000 per year, says TUC
Instead government should introduce mandatory disability pay gap reporting
The TUC is today (Tuesday) calling on the government to make it compulsory for employers to publish their disability pay gaps, as the TUC’s annual disabled workers’ conference starts in Bournemouth.
TUC analysis found the disability pay gap – the difference between what non-disabled and disabled workers earn – is 15% or almost £3,000 a year, and even higher for disabled women.
In November 2018 ministers published a voluntary code to encourage employers to disclose the number of disabled people they employ, along with their career progression and pay.
But the TUC says that without a legally binding requirement on companies to publish their pay gaps – and what action they are taking to address them – progress will be too slow.
A voluntary scheme for gender pay gap reporting introduced by the coalition government saw 280 businesses sign up, but only 5 businesses went on to publish their data. When mandatory reporting was introduced over 10,000 employers reported their gender pay gap – close to 100% compliance.
So the TUC wants the government to introduce a statutory requirement for employers to report on their disability pay gaps and employment rates, and to publish action plans setting out how they will address them.
And flexible working available in more senior roles, would also help says the TUC, so part-time working does not mean low pay.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Too many disabled people face poorer job prospects and lower pay. They’ve waited long enough for fair and equal treatment – and a light-touch, voluntary approach just isn’t good enough. The evidence shows that it just doesn’t work.
“It’s time that bosses were legally required to publish their disability employment and pay gaps in the same way that large companies have to report their gender pay gaps. Disabled people deserve the same level of transparency.
“My advice to disabled workers worried about their career and pay is to join a union. Union reps have experience negotiating with employers to get the support all workers need.”
- TUC research published last year revealed that disabled people earn nearly £3k a year less on average than non-disabled workers: www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-calls-government-make-employers-report-their-disability-pay-gaps
- Information about reporting rates for voluntary gender pay gap reporting is available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/747546/ethnicity-pay-reporting-consultation.pdf
- The TUC disabled workers’ conference runs today (Tuesday) and tomorrow (Wednesday) at the Bournemouth International Centre, Exeter Road, Bournemouth, Dorset BH2 5BH.
- The TUC exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together more than 5.5 million working people who make up our 49 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living.
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