A short post on Philip Davies

Philip Davies is right.



“If an employer is looking at two candidates, one who has got disabilities and one who hasn’t, and they have got to pay them both the same rate, I invite you to guess which one the employer is more likely to take on.

“Given that some of those people with a learning disability clearly, by definition, cannot be as productive in their work as somebody who has not got a disability of that nature, then it was inevitable that, given the employer was going to have to pay them both the same, they were going to take on the person who was going to be more productive, less of a risk.

“My view is that for some people the national minimum wage may be more of a hindrance than a help.

“If those people who consider it is being a hindrance to them, and in my view that’s some of the most vulnerable people in society, if they feel that for a short period of time, taking a lower rate of pay to help them get on their first rung of the jobs ladder, if they judge that that is a good thing, I don’t see why we should be standing in their way.”



Philip Davies is right.

But he is also very wrong.


The key point he made, and I’m glad he’s noticed this, is that employers will be less likely to take on a disabled employee over a non disabled. And personally, I think it will make little difference how much, or how little, they can get away with paying someone.

The reason why they are less likely to hire a disabled person is precisely what Philip Davies got wrong. They both have the misconception that disabled people are somehow ‘less productive’ than non disabled people.

Research carried out in the UK, USA, Australia and the Netherlands has shown that disabled people compare favourably with non disabled in the workplace.


Disabled people were rated the same as or better than non-disabled co-workers on punctuality; attendance; work quality; task consistency; overall proficiency, with slightly lower scores on work speed.

      • 90% of employees with a disability record productivity rates equal to or greater than other workers.
      • 98% have average or superior safety records.
      • 86% have average or superior attendance records

A study conducted on behalf of Telstra Australia in 1999 found that:

  • People with a disability worked on average 4.1 years in a call centre, compared to 3.2 years for people without a disability.
  • Over a 15-month period, people with a disability had 11.8 days absent, compared to people without a disability who had 19.24 days absent.
  • There were no significant differences when comparing people with a disability to people without a disability in the areas of performance, productivity and sales.

So the issue here is not the productivity of disabled workers, but rather the misconceptions about their productivity. Which Mr Davies has kindly added to. I would suggest, rather than finding ways to further devalue and demean us in the eyes of the general public, he could focus instead on educating employers about the benefits of hiring us.














2 thoughts on “A short post on Philip Davies

  1. I’m 49 years old, have Asperger’s syndrome and have never had a job.

    I need to be able to offer an employer something so that he will at least just consider giving me a job; and I reckon that his being able to pay me less than statutory minimum wage might just do it.

    I doubt I would be any worse off than actually being paid a proper wage because of the complex interactions between the various benefits I receive and the amount of money I have to pay to social services for my care. In effect a wages subsidy would be in operation.

    I desperately want to work, and need to work, so that I can fully contribute to, and participate in, society; and strive to become the best person I’m capable of becoming – and the minimum wage legislation is hindering me in my search for employment.

  2. Not only that employers also get aid from government by merely taking on a disabled person. If that aid hasn’t worked then how is a disabled person going to be at any advantage by lowering the minimum wage. This is all just a farce to introduce bullying tactic from DWP in my opinion. It is disgusting for one so called human being to stand up and say! a fellow human being is worth less than the minimum standard of living. This coalition is like a dog chasing its tail and getting no where and they know it. If only they listened to all the statistics they would have realised that Atos wouldn’t have been nessecary when in fact only 4% disabled say! they wouldn’t work because of there disability. Your statement above hits the spot nicely EMPLOYERS need educating.

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