United Kingdom

Low pay and disability

Key points

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Graph 1: By gender and full-/part-time

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Graph 2: By qualifications

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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.

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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. For example, the proportion of part-time employees with a work-limiting disability who were paid less than 7 per hour in 2007 was 54% for those aged 25 to retirement and 57% for all working age, a difference of 3 percentage points.  For those without a work-limiting disability, however, the proportion of part-time employees who were paid less than 7 per hour in 2007 was 44% for those aged 25 to retirement and 53% for all working age, a difference of 9 percentage points.

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.

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External links

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Relevant 2007 Public Service Agreements

None directly relevant.

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The numbers

Graph 1

Group With a work-limiting disability With no work-limiting disability
Full-time men 18% 11%
Full-time women 22% 17%
Part-time (men and women combined)48% 39%

Graph 2

Highest qualification With a work-limiting disability With no work-limiting disability
Higher education 11% 7%
A level or equivalent 22% 18%
GCSEs A*-C 36% 26%
GCSEs below grade C 48% 36%
No qualifications 65% 50%

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