There were 8.2m people of working age in the UK in 2020 with disabilities (as defined by the Equality Act 2010) - i.e. 20% of the total working age population.

Amongst those with disabilities, just 53% were in work compared with 76% of individuals as a whole (aged 16-64). Conversely, 43% of those with disabilities were classed as ‘inactive’ compared with just 21% of the wider population.

Disability and economic activity of the working aged population (2020)

Chart showing the disability and economic activity of the working aged population (2020)

Source: Analysis of ONS Quarterly Labour Force Survey by BCS
* includes a small number of individuals in work but not as employees / self-employed (i.e., <1% of the total)

Though accounting for 20% of the population, people with disabilities constituted only 14% of the total UK workforce in 2020 (i.e. 14% of workers who were employees, 15% of those who were self-employed and 26% of those in other working arrangements) and their level of representation within the workforce has changed little over the past five years.