Even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, figures from Eurostat suggested that 28.7% of all persons with disabilities in the EU lived in poverty. This is around 10 percentage points higher than for persons without disabilities. For women with disabilities, young people with disabilities, people with multiple disabilities and those with high support needs, the risk of poverty is even greater.
Quality, inclusive employment is one of the primary means of improving one’s financial stability. However, for too many persons with disabilities not only is the road to the open labour market paved with barriers, but even once a job has been found there are countless factors that make it difficult to make ends meet. Eurostat figures from before the pandemic already showed that 11% of working persons with disabilities in the EU were experiencing in-work poverty, and we expect the current situation to be much worse.
Here we will explore a few of the main challenges faced by workers with disabilities when it comes to escaping in-work poverty and look at what an EU Directive on adequate minimum wage would have to do to help remedy the situation.
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Ensuring adequate wages and workers’ rights for persons with disabilities