Low pay and disability
Graphs on this page:
- All the statistics below relate to those aged 25 to retirement and are the average for the latest three years.
- For both full-time and part-time work, the proportion of employees with a work-limiting disability who are low paid (earning less than £7 per hour) is higher than that for employees without a work-limiting disability, by around five percentage points for full-timers and ten percentage points for part-timers.
- At all levels of qualification, the proportion of people with a work-limiting disability who are low paid is somewhat greater than for those without a disability. But the differences are much less than the equivalent differences for lacking but wanting paid work (see the fifth graph of the indicator on work and disability).
- See the indicator on trends in low pay.
Why this indicator was originally chosen
Even when they are working, people with a disability are more likely to be low paid than their non-disabled counterparts.
Definitions and data sources
All the graphs in this indicator relate to adults aged 25 to retirement rather than all working-age adults. This is because the high prevalence of low pay among younger adults combined with the low prevalence of disability in that age group arguably distorts, and certainly changes, the comparison between disabled and non-disabled people. 1
The first graph shows how the proportion of workers aged 25 to retirement who were paid less than £7 per hour varies by level of disability, gender and full-time/part-time.
The second graph shows how the proportion of workers aged 25 to 49 who were paid less than £7 per hour varies by level of disability and level of highest qualification.
The data source for both graphs is the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and relates to the United Kingdom. People whose hourly pay rates cannot be calculated from the survey data have been excluded from the analysis. To improve its statistical reliability, the data is the average for the latest three years.
‘Work-limiting disability’ is an LFS classification and comprises those people who stated that they have had health problems for more than a year and that these problems affect either the kind or amount of work that they can do.
Overall adequacy of the indicator: medium. The LFS is a large, a well-established, quarterly government survey of designed to be representative of the population as a whole but there are some doubts about the reliability of its low pay data.
- For a discussion of the relationship between low pay and income poverty, see the 2006 report by the New Policy Institute and the Bevan Foundation entitled Dreaming of £250 a week: a scoping study of in-work poverty in Wales and the 2004 Joseph Rowntree Foundation report entitled Low pay, household resources and poverty.
- See the Low Pay Commission site and their annual reports on the National Minimum Wage.
Relevant 2007 Public Service Agreements
None directly relevant.
|Group||With a work-limiting disability||With no work-limiting disability|
|Part-time (men and women combined)||48%||39%|
|Highest qualification||With a work-limiting disability||With no work-limiting disability|
|A level or equivalent||22%||18%|
|GCSEs below grade C||48%||36%|