We Need To Talk About The Disability Pay Gap

The TUC’s recently published analysis shows that non-disabled workers now earn a sixth (17.2%) more than disabled workers. The pay gap between disabled and non-disabled workers now stands at £2.05 an hour – or a difference of £3,731 per year for someone working a 35-hour week. This effectively means that disabled workers work for free for the last 54 days of the year – meaning that 7th November is the last calendar day they would be paid, were they on an equitable wage. This led the TUC to brand 7th November this year as The Disability Pay Gap Day.

The difference in pay is particularly profound for disabled workers who also belong to other marginalised groups. Disabled women face the biggest pay gap, with non-disabled men paid on average 35% (£3.93 an hour, or £7,144 a year) more than disabled women. The study found that disabled workers of colour also face a much tougher labour market, with 10.9% being unemployed compared with 2.8% of white non-disabled workers.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady has called for mandatory disability pay gap reporting and pointed out that during the pandemic “many disabled people were able to work flexibly or from home for the first time. We must ensure this continues – flexible workplaces are accessible workplaces and give everyone better work life balance.”

Here at Astriid, we support mandatory disability pay gap reporting. We are proud signatories of the Disability Employment Charter, and measures such as these are seen by the charter as some of the pivotal ways to address the disparity between disabled and non-disabled workers.

However, we also know that the main drawback of mandatory disability pay gap reporting is that many employees still don’t disclose their disability in the workplace. This may be due to a fear of stigma or discrimination from managers or colleagues, a lack of knowledge about disability rights and workplace adjustments, and many others reasons too – you can read more about the lived experiences of individuals in our Employment And Long-Term Illness report. This lack of disclosure makes it difficult for mandatory reporting to capture accurate and meaningful insights from any organisation.

The issue is a complex one, but Astriid’s Disability Workforce Survey is one tool that helps businesses with the challenge of disability reporting. The survey provides a voluntary and more holistic approach by looking at various measures of inclusion, including perceptions of wellbeing and belonging among disabled employees, measures of manager confidence and skills in supporting disabled employees, and more.

Everybody on Astriid’s team has lived experience of disability, as well as bespoke insight into long-term illness and Energy Limiting Conditions. We have the subject expertise to see the challenge as a whole and work with employers to find meaningful solutions, where they can truly make the most of a diverse workforce.

If you’d like to hear more about Astriid Consulting and how we can support you, do feel free to get in touch.  


Here at Astriid, we match talented people with long-term illnesses with meaningful employment opportunities. We work with employers to make sure that they can meet individuals’ needs, and help candidates through all stages of their ‘work-ready’ journey.

You can find out more and sign up as a candidate or an employer by visiting our website. You may also be interested in our research report – Employment And Long-Term Illness: The Invisible Talent Pool!