According to the Office of Disability Issues in the UK we have a substantially higher proportion of people who live in families with disabled members who are in poverty, compared to those who live in families where no one is disabled. Despite the numbers of disabled people in employment having risen since 2002, there remains a significant gap in the labour market between disabled and non-disabled people.
For disabled people there can be extra barriers when trying to get work or if someone is already in work and they become disabled. Sometimes finding the right information to support yourself or someone you are working with can be hard. This useful information pack has been put together to stand alongside and compliment the Employment Support Resource on our website. We hope that the information is clear and that it covers all aspects of employment issues that may arise for you.
We have laid this resource out by answering some of the questions that you may have around employment.
If there are any other question that you may need answering, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will do our very best to include it in on our website.
Since May 2010, the Government has set out an ambitious programme of employment support to ensure that people disadvantaged in the labour market will get the help they need to find and keep jobs. As part of the overall Disability Employment Strategy, the Right to Control was set up which was a three year pilot project, Sheffield and Barnsley being one of seven trailblazer sites. It was aimed at giving disabled people more choice and control over the support they need to go about their daily lives. Despite the take up of the Right to Control budget being low, a working partnership has been formed between the Local Authority, Department for Works and Pensions, Job Centre Plus and Disability Sheffield. This has led to training of practitioners, the employment support resource, which is hosted on the Disability Sheffield website and this resource pack.
It was the intention of the partnership between Sheffield City Council, Job Centre plus and Disability Sheffield, formerly Sheffield Centre for Independent Living, to increase the awareness and competencies of the staff that are responsible for the assessment, job matching and on-going employment support for those seeking employment and employees with disabilities.
Work gives us a sense of belonging and routine. For many years people who are disabled have been viewed as not being able to work, some people have been discouraged from working.
Everyone has a right to live in the way that they choose and although there may be some jobs that disabled people are not able to do, people have a right to ‘reach for their goals’ and have support to be able to fulfil those goals.
More and more employers are starting to see the benefits of employing people who have disabilities and are recognising that disabled people are not just as good as non-disabled peers but also sometimes have special qualities that no one else has.
Here is a link to some videos about work and getting into work:
‘The development of vibrant and well-resourced disabled employee networks is a fantastic way of encouraging disabled people to become ambitious for themselves and their career – and to send out a positive message about the organisations intent in developing an inclusive environment’ Alun Davies, Chair of Disability Committee, Equalities and Human Rights Commission.
There are a number of different ways you can begin the process of looking for work and support to do this. You can:-
Make an appointment to see a DEA (Disability Employment Advisor) who are part of the Disability Service Team. They are based in the Job Centres around Sheffield and you can contact them on this number: 0114 203 3143 or 0114 203 3144.
Here is a link to information about what Disability Employment Advisors do
You can also look at our Employment Support Resource which will guide you through the process.
‘I love being at work, I have friendships and I have my own money. It makes me really happy and I am not bored sitting at home all day wondering what to do with myself.’
Work Choice is part of the Work Programme package. It is a voluntary programme which supports disabled people with complex barriers to employment and more intensive support needs regardless of the benefit they receive.
Here is a link to the DWP WorkChoice Fact Sheet.
In Sheffield this employment support is provided by A4E and SERCO.
Access to Work is a government run programme which exists to provide practical advice and support to help you overcome work-related obstacles. It can also give you grants towards extra employment costs. Access to work.
Here are two links that tell you all you need to know about Access to Work.
‘I want to work but how do I know if I’m well enough if I have to come off my benefits to give work a try?’
There are a number of benefits that are available to you if you have a disability and begin working.
Permitted work is available for you if you take a job under 16 hours a week. You need to be on qualifying benefit to receive this.
There are two types of Permitted Work. There is Permitted Work and Supported Permitted Work. The rules around Permitted Work are very complex and you should always seek advice and guidance from either your ESA (Employment Support Advisor) or your DEA (Disability Employment Advisor).
A link to information on Permitted Work is here.
‘Due to my condition I am no longer able to work full time. Disability Tax Credit has enabled me to return to work without losing too much money.’
Disability Working Tax Credit is available to disabled people who work for more than 16 hours a week and earn under a certain amount.
You can also check out your Disability Working Tax Credit entitlement by using this Tax Credit Calculator
Money is available to help you set up in business through the New Enterprise Allowance Scheme
Turn to Us is a website that has links to many different charities that you can access if you need something that is over and above what the Job Centre and Colleges can provide. Here is the link to their website
If you are aged between 16-30 you may also be able to get help through the Princes Trust to both set up in business and help fund courses. Here is a link to their website
A Work Trial is a way of trying out a job before you come off benefits and start work. It helps to make sure you feel you are able to cope with working in a certain place or for a certain number of hours before you make your decision. Jobcentre Plus help for recruiters
Supported Internships are the latest cutting edge of delivery for young people aged 16 to 24 with complex learning difficulties or disabilities to find work.
The scheme is run by further education colleges, who work with employers to find a job that suits the abilities of each intern and create a unique study programme so all interns can learn the necessary skills to do the job.
These are a few case studies of young people who have completed Supported Internships.
The Bobby Williams case study is about a young man called Bobby who is doing an Apprenticeship with a supported employment service after returning home to his local area after going to college at an Independent Specialist Provider where he got an NVQ in Business and Administration.
The Bromley College case study looks at the development of a new, personalised approach for Bromley College.
The Foxwood Academy case study outlines Foxwood Academy’s approach to raising employment aspirations of disabled young people and the people who support them to increase the number of young people getting paid jobs when they leave education. Their approach includes ensuring that person-centred transition planning has a focus on employment; a vocational curriculum is available for all young people and supported employment works with young people whilst still at school.
The Individual Budgets case study illustrates how an individual budget, with multi agency funding, can lead to fuller life outcomes. Individual budgets and personalisation are one of the central elements of the SEN reforms. It also shows how a personalised approach, developed with the individual and their family, can lead to the best outcomes for all.
The Leicester College case study examines Leicester College’s person-centred approach to meeting the needs of learners with profound and multiple learning difficulties.
Here is a link to more information on Supported Internships
SEN Draft code of practice
The Council for Disabled Children has produced two guides for young people about the draft Code of Practice for 16-25 year olds.
Here is a useful link where you will find information on transitions
SOHAS (Sheffield Occupational Health Advisory Service) provides information and advice for employed and unemployed people with work-related health problems.
The service is free and confidential and aims to promote the wellbeing of each individual. This is a link to their website
Are a great place for people to go if they are on their journey to recovery. They are based around the city and offer low level support and a chance to form peer networks. Here are a few links for your information: Sheffield Social Cafes and Sheffield Mind Social Cafes
Some Jobs are advertised on their own company’s websites. If you are interested in working for a particular company then it’s ALWAYS worth looking at their individual websites. Here are just a few examples:-
a) Use our Employment Support Resource if you need an organisation to help you with this.
b) Talk to your Disability Employment Advisor
c) Visit Voluntary Action Sheffield and register your interest with them and visit their website for information.
d) Look to see if there are any opportunities within the NHS.
You can also volunteer for other roles that might be advertised in different places for example: Do-It.org
National Organisations who help shape policies regarding Employment and Inclusion
BASE (British Association of Supported Inclusion)
CESI (Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion)
Disability Rights UK
Centre for Welfare Reform
‘One of the things that’s really true about people with disabilities is that when they have a job, they are so highly motivated and have very low absenteeism and turnover,’ Maxine Pegors, an HR consultant and disability-employment advocate’
The Disability Standard is an online management tool developed by Business Disability Forum to help businesses to measure and improve on performance for disabled customers, clients or service users, employees and stakeholders. It was developed in 2004 as a benchmark tool. 80 participants took part in the first benchmark in 2005 and this number has continued to grow ever since.
Organisations such as Abbey, BT, BUPA, Barclays, Centrica, Cable & Wireless, HSBC, Royal Mail, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Unum formed the original research group.
This is a link to their website website:
The Disability Confident Campaign is a government campaign designed to support employers to remove barriers, increase understanding and ensure that disabled people have the opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations. This is a link to their website
Mindful Employer is a national organisation which supports people with a mental health condition to find and stay in employment. This is a link to their website