Research England PFS 22/23: The dynamic effects of becoming disabled on work, wages and wellbeing in the UK and how these differ by gender and ethnicity

Project: Research-related funding

Project Details


In the UK, both research and political debate around dis-ability and work are dominated by cross-sectional analyses which only give a snapshot at one time-point. Our previous research (Dickson et al, 2021) shows that this masks considerable dynamics in dis-ability status: whilst some disabled people have a permanent condition, the majority will have varying levels of impairment over time which may see them moving in and out of the workforce. The effect of dis-ability on employment also varies a lot by gender: disabled women are less likely to be employed than disabled men, or non-disabled men or women. Moreover, those from non-white ethnic groups are also less likely to be employed and are more likely to experience dis-ability. What is not known is the extent to which dis-ability dynamics differ by gender and ethnicity. Understanding this is critical for formulating policy responses that recognise the dynamic nature of dis-ability status and the extent to which certain individuals are impacted more than others by dis-ability onset and duration. This project will provide policymakers with firm evidence on the extent to which certain groups require different policies to address the impacts of dis-ability on labour market outcomes, helping to inform policy development.

The overall aim of the project is to work with national policymakers to inform policies to support individuals who experience dis-ability onset, taking into account the fact that individuals with different characteristics will experience different impacts of dis-ability which may require different policy responses.

Project aims
• Assess how the dynamic effects of new onset dis-ability on work, wages and wellbeing differ by combinations of ethnicity and gender, using a dataset of 65,000 working-age British adults between 1991 and 2018.
• Formulate proposals to address the national policy challenge of closing the gap between the labour market and wellbeing outcomes of non-disabled and disabled adults.
• Engage in co-production of research with partners from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), and the Cabinet Office’s Equality Hub (COEH).

Layman's description

For most people who experience dis-ability it is not a permanent condition: impairment levels vary over time, and people move in and out of dis-ability status. Dis-ability onset and duration impact labour market and well-being outcomes and this project will examine whether these impacts differ for women and minority ethnic groups, requiring tailored policy responses.
Short title£16,236
Effective start/end date1/02/231/09/23

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.