Average Earnings

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 10th July 2015.

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Photo of Kirsten Oswald Kirsten Oswald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Armed Forces and Veterans)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent changes there have been in the median earnings of (a) working age adults with a disability and (b) working age adults with no disability in the last three years; and what steps he is taking to ensure that people with a disability are able to secure employment suitable to their needs and abilities.

Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Work and Pensions) (Disabled People)

The table below provides estimates obtained from the Family Resources Survey[1] (FRS) of the median weekly earnings of disabled[2] and non-disabled employed[3] working age adults in the United Kingdom for the last three years for which data are available.


Median weekly earnings[4] (£)












We have a number of programmes and initiatives to ensure that people with a disability are able to secure employment suitable to their needs and abilities. These include Access to Work, Work Choice and Residential Training Colleges. Specialist Employability Support launches on 1st September 2015 and the Government’s award-winning Disability Confident campaign continues work with employers to raise awareness of the business benefits of employing disabled people.

[1] Estimates are based on sample counts that have been adjusted for non-response using multi-purpose grossing factors that control for tenure type, Council Tax Band and a number of demographic variables. Estimates are subject to sampling error and remaining non-sampling bias. It is thought that household surveys may underestimate income from both self-employment and investments. We rely on respondent recall of very detailed financial information across a comprehensive range of income sources.

[2] Disability is self-reported in the FRS. A person is considered to have a disability if they have a long-standing illness, disability or impairment which causes substantial difficulty with day-to-day activities. Some people classified as disabled and having rights under the Equality Act 2010 are not captured by this definition, that is people with a long-standing illness or disability which is not currently affecting their day-to-day activities. The disability questions in the FRS changed from 2012/13 to comply with the Government Statistical Service (GSS) Harmonised Standards for questions on disability: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/guide-method/harmonisation/primary-set-of-harmonised-concepts-and-questions/index.html. The definition of disability used in this dataset is consistent with the core definition of disability under the Equality Act 2010. This means that neither the definition of disability nor the impairment types are directly comparable with data prior to FRS 2012/13.

[3] Employment is defined using the International Labour Organization (ILO) definition.

[4] Earnings have been adjusted to 2013/14 prices using the Retail Price Index and are rounded to the nearest pound. Figures include earnings from employment as an employee and self-employment, part-time and full-time.

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