Self-Employment For The Disabled

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Self-Employment For The Disabled

In the UK almost half of the disabled of working age(16-64), 3.5 million are in employment, with 346,000 unemployed, and 3.8 million economically inactive. Research found disabled people need to apply for 60% more jobs than non-disabled jobseekers before they find work.

  • The government has reported that finding work for an additional 1% of eligible Employment and Support Allowance claimants in 2018/19 would save £240 million, and provide a boost to the economy of £260 million;
  • The Conservative Party 2017 manifesto pledged  to get “1 million more people with disabilities into employment over the next ten years”;
  • To achieve the governments  goal there would have to be 4.5 million people in employment with disabilities by 2027, a growth of 29% on current levels;

Self-Employment Popular Choice?

Becoming self-employed appears a popular option for disabled people. Despite attitudes improving according to the charity Scope, with events like the Paralympics, disabled people report barriers in finding work. This perhaps the push factor for the disabled,  along with the many other issues which they face daily, is why they make the decision to become self-employed.

    • Papworth Trust reports  on the  link between a lack of accessible housing and work, for the 1.8 million disabled people with unmet housing needs. There is a shortage of housing that is specifically designed to meet disabled people’s needs.  With 1.8 million disabled people struggling to find accessible housing. The majority of homes in England (84%) do not allow someone using a wheelchair, to get through the front door without difficulty;
    • The impact of inaccessible housing – disabled people are four times more likely to be unemployed;
    • Transport is the largest concern for disabled people in their local area. Pavement/road maintenance, access, and frequency of public transport are the biggest issues;
    • More than 50,000 disabled people have had specially adapted cars and other vehicles taken away as they move over to a controversial new disability; it is not known out this figure how many needed their “vehicles to be able to get to work“;
    • A survey by the The Federation of Small Businesses found 18% of theirs members tenancy clauses were a barrier to them running a business from home, while one in three stated inadequate broadband stops them working from home;
    • The disabled pay on average £550 per month on extra costs related to their disability. According to government statistics self-employment remains a financially insecure profession, with self-employed workers earning an average distributed income of around £240 a week – compared to an average of £400 a week for full-time employees.
    • Self-employed incomes vary considerably by region, weekly self-employment earnings were the highest in London (£352)East of England (£332) and Scotland (£300) compared with the North West (£200), which had the lowest of all regions.

Reports & Uk Government Briefing Paper

disabled and employmentBRIEFING PAPERNumber 7540,
8 January 2018.
People with disabilities in employment

download disabilities reports pdf file

Trends in self-employment in the UK – National Statistics Office


disabled and employment

Papworth Trust Report: Disability in the UK


Disability Rights & Access To Work

SCOPE Support to Work
Princes Trust
Papworth Trust 


Self-Employment Introductory Guides

How to register

Tax and National Insurance

Self Assessment

Managing expenses

Records you must keep

Paying HMRC

Stopping or selling your business

Help and support

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