More disabled people than ever before are choosing self-employment, but are being let down by poor support from government, according to new research from IPSE and the Community trade union.
The study, Making self-employment work for disabled people, claims that 611,000 UK disabled people now work for themselves in their main job.
Disabled self-employed people are struggling not only with difficulties accessing benefits through the Work Capability Assessment, but also with widespread poor understanding of self-employment.
The Government says it wants to help people get into work, but ministers are letting disabled people down by failing to support them to be their own boss.
Better publicity for the Access to Work programme, which is often described as ‘the best kept secret for supporting disabled people in work’.
Support organisations such as charities, trade associations and trade unions should help disabled people access mentoring and tailored support.
Jonathan Lima-Matthews, Head of Public Affairs at IPSE, said: “Working for themselves is an overwhelmingly positive choice for disabled people. They can enjoy the freedom to work when, where and, crucially, how they want – something many told us they couldn’t do in permanent employment. The Government says it wants to help people get into work, but ministers are letting disabled people down by failing to support them to be their own boss. It’s time for it to turn this around and give disabled people striking out for themselves the support they need.”