The impact of disability on employment and financial security following the outbreak of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic in the UK

Eric Emerson, Roger Stancliffe, Chris Hatton, Gwynnyth Llewellyn, Tania King, Vaso Totsika, Zoe Aitken, Anne Kavanagh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic may have a greater impact on people with disabilities than non-disabled people. Our aim was to compare the short-term impact of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic and first lockdown on the employment and financial security of working age adults with and without disabilities in the UK. Methods Secondary analysis of data collected in Wave 9 and the special April, May and June COVID-19 monthly surveys of Understanding Society , the UK s main annual household panel study. Results During the first 3 months of the introduction of the COVID-19 lockdown in the UK, respondents with disability were more likely than their peers to be working reduced hours and experience higher levels of financial stress. These differences were attenuated, but not eliminated, when estimates were adjusted to take account of pre-lockdown financial status. Conclusions Working age adults with disability were particularly disadvantaged by the financial impact of the COVID-19 lockdown in the UK. The UN Secretary-General Ant nio Guterres has stated the need for a disability-inclusive COVID-19 government response. The results of our analysis suggest that these pleas have either not been heeded, or if measures have been implemented, they have so far been ineffectual in the UK.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)472-478
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Public Health
Volume43
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • adults
  • disabilities
  • socioeconomics factors

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