Money Wellness
A disabled worker in a warehouse
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calendar icon14 Nov 2023

Disability Pay Gap Day: disabled workers will effectively work the rest of the year for free due to pay gap

Disabled workers earn a sixth (14.6%) less than their non-disabled peers, new research has shown.

Analysis from the TUC reveals that the pay gap is £1.90 an hour or £66.50 a week. That is more than the average household spends on their weekly food shop (£62.20).

Over the course of a year for someone working a 35-hour week, that is equivalent to £3,460. In effect, that means disabled people are working free for the last 47 days of the year and stop getting paid today (14 November) – the day the TUC has branded as Disability Pay Gap Day.

Pay gap higher than a decade ago

The latest figures show the disability pay gap is now higher than it was in 2013/14 when the first comparable pay data was recorded.

And it is only slightly lower than in 2016/17 (15%) when the TUC launched Disability Pay Gap Day.

Women hardest hit

The figures show that disabled women face the biggest pay gap. On average, non-disabled men are paid 30% (£3.73 an hour, £130.55 a week, or £6,780 a year) more than disabled women.

According to the TUC’s report, the pay gap also persists for most of a disabled worker’s career.

At 25, the pay gap is £1.73 an hour and it hits a high of £3.18 an hour for disabled workers aged 40 to 44.

Labour’s New Deal for Working People would be a game changer

The TUC has said Labour’s New Deal for Working People would help the situation no end.

In its first 100 days in government, Labour has pledged to:

  • introduce disability and ethnicity pay gap reporting
  • introduce a day-one right to work flexibly
  • ban zero-hours contracts
  • give workers rights from day one on issues such as unfair dismissal, parental leave and sick pay
  • ensure workers get reasonable notice of changes in work patterns and compensation when this doesn’t happen
  • beef up powers for enforcement bodies to uphold workers’ rights


TUC general secretary Paul Nowak said:

“It’s shameful there has been zero progress on the disability pay gap in the last decade.

“Too many disabled people are held back at work, not getting the reasonable adjustments they need to do their jobs.

“And we need to strengthen the benefits system for those who are unable to work or are out of work, so they are not left in poverty.”

Avatar of Rebecca Routledge

Rebecca Routledge

A qualified journalist for over 15 years with a background in financial services. Rebecca is Money Wellness’s consumer champion, helping you improve your financial wellbeing by providing information on everything from income maximisation to budgeting and saving tips.

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