Disability Rights UK blog post, 15 August 2017: Flexible hours would combat pay gap and increase disabled peoples job opportunities

Offering flexible hours to all job applicants will help combat pay disparities and increase job opportunities for disabled people, according to a new research by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

The recommendations form part of a strategy for tackling pay imbalances across disability gender and ethnicity.

The EHRC report examines the disability pay gap in Great Britain, defined as the difference in average hourly pay between disabled and non-disabled people and looks at:

  • pay gaps for people with different types of impairments;
  • trends in employees and pay; and
  • the key causes of the disability pay gap.

The research also highlights that disabled people, women, and people from some ethnic minority groups are more likely to be paid below the living wage.

Among the EHRC’s key recommendations are:

  • taking steps to improve attainment outcomes for pupils with a disability;
  • and/or SEND and holding relevant authorities to account when schools fail to make reasonable adjustments;
  • continuing to tackle stereotypes and encourage wider subject and
    career choice for disabled students;
  • improving the participation and progression rates for under-represented groups in apprenticeships;
  • making the right to request flexible working a day-one right;
  • offering all jobs including the most senior on a flexible and part-time basis;
  • consulting with employers and relevant organisations on extending the statutory requirement to report on gender pay gaps to disability;
  • using fair, transparent processes for recruitment and development;
  • decisions that tackle discrimination and bias;
  • developing national action plans to close disability pay gaps and report regularly on progress;
  • publishing statistical information on the scale and trends in disability pay gaps; and
  • consulting with employers on the most effective way of extending reporting requirements to disability pay gaps.

Caroline Waters deputy chair of the EHRC, said:

“We need new ideas to bring down pay gaps. While there has been some progress, it has been painfully slow. We need radical change now, otherwise we’ll be having the same conversation for decades to come.”

Kamran Mallick Disability Rights UK’s CEO said:

“We welcome this survey from EHRC. It demonstrates that for disabled people employment is not just about ‘getting in’ but also staying in and getting on. We need to think differently about what it means to work. We don’t all have to aspire to work 9 to 5 and Monday to Friday. As disabled people, we have a long way to go to achieve pay parity.  Shining a light on this issue is a welcome start.”

Fair opportunities for all: A strategy for reducing pay gaps in Britain is available @ www.equalityhumanrights.com

The research for the report can also be found online.

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