Disabled people face an income gap of 44%, research finds

Recent research from the Resolution Foundation found that disabled people face a 44% wage gap compared to the non-disabled population

Disabled people face a 44% pay gap compared to the non-disabled population, according to new research by the Resolution Foundation.

The research shows that the 2020-21 wage gap between disabled (£19,397) and non-disabled (£27,792) individuals has decreased by 10% since 2003. However, individuals living with disabilities are facing an increased cost of living while receiving lower-than-average incomes. 

What has caused the wage gap?

A survey including 8,000 adults found that the gap could be explained by the lower employment rates of disabled workers. Eighty-two percent of the non-disabled population were found to be in employment, compared to 54% of the working-age disabled population. 

Rosie Clarke, Head of Inclusion and Diversity Services at Inclusive Employers highlights that the disabled population is often “perceived negatively by employers”, stating that they have the incorrect perception that hiring a disabled person will be “onerous.” She says, employers: “therefore take the ‘easier’ route of hiring non-disabled people.”

How is the wage gap impacting those with disabilities?

Although the UK government has recently announced a stipend of £150 to support those with disabilities through the cost of living crisis, more support measures are still being called for. 

Consequently, 41% of people living with disabilities have been unable to heat their homes throughout the winter months, with 31% stating they needed to cut back on food costs. 

Chief Executive of The Valuable 500, Joanna Pritchard, comments: “We need people with disabilities in leadership positions in the workplace and equal pay opportunities throughout the hierarchy – as prominent as this community is, it remains largely unseen, underpaid or unemployed, but business holds the key to changing the employment landscape for the better.”


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