The TUC called today for the government to make it compulsory for employers to publish their disability pay gaps.
The call comes as new TUC analysis shows that the average pay gap for disabled workers has hit 15.2% – the equivalent of £2,821 a year.
However, for people with mental illnesses (29.8%) and depression (26.3%) the pay gulf is even worse.
Last week ministers published a voluntary code to encourage employers to disclose the number of disabled people they employ, their career progression and pay.
But the TUC says that without a legally binding requirement on companies to publish their pay gaps (and set out what action they are taking to address them), progress will be too slow.
Disability employment gap
The TUC says far more needs to be done to remove the barriers facing disabled people in the workplace.
Just half (50.5%) of working-age disabled people in the UK currently have a job, compared to four-fifths (81.1%) of non-disabled people.
For some disabled people the problem is even worse. Only 3 in 10 (30.4%) people with a mental health disability are in work.
The TUC is calling on 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.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
“Disabled people face the double whammy of poorer job prospects and lower pay. Paying lip service is not going to fix the problem.
“Employers must be legally required to publish their disability employment and pay gaps. A light-touch, voluntary approach simply won't cut it.
"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 disabled workers need.”