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Thread: Self-employment - your views.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    Self-employment - your views.

    I took medical early retirement over three years ago. But my mind is still agile and I think I still have skills that I can use to earn extra corn.

    The advantage is that it also opens doors to Government funding too through Access to Work.

    What would you say are the pros and cons of self-employment whether you are presently unemployed or working.
    Last edited by Lighttouch; 06-02-15 at 12:47.

  2. #2
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    I think if you have the right skills, the right idea then why not. Modern technology has made things much easier.

    I'm presently employed but if this were to end, whether my choice or not, then I'm likely to go the self-employment route. Last year my department went through a significant reorganisation, and whilst I wasn't going to be hit by redundancy, it did make me think.

    Access to Work, which I currently utilise anyway, may help me but one option may involve working overseas so perhaps not.
    Last edited by vantage; 06-02-15 at 16:43.
    No single thing can define me; not my work, not my politics, not my hobbies, not my vices and not my disability. I'm way more complex than that!

  3. #3
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    I think the problem with self employment are many, long hours for little money, many self employed don't last a year and then many find problems with claiming benefits, I don't know the full workings of Access to Work but if you have a good customer base or know that what your business is going to earn you a living.

    If you have done a business plan, don't make it so that you could earn 30,000 when you would probably be lucky to earn 3,000 be realistic, if after all that you think you could still do it, then I wish you all the very best

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    Would testing the business plan as "permitted work" be an option.

    Although on esa at the moment I'd rather not do so forever. Self employment would be my preferred route. I'd hope I could test things under permitted work.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    I believe that from October 2015 Access to Work are becoming harder on disabled people who want to become self-employed if they want the support.

    Presently a new start-up doesn't need to be profitable. From October new start-ups are given six months to turn a profit or the support will be withdrawn.

    The thinking behind this is to make disabled people form business plans, do research, have a client base and already be registered as self-employed with the right tax code before contacting AtW.

    I guess the thinking behind this is that most people can run a start-up business for six months - after which it will either fail or thrive.

    The big benefit to self-employment people relates to Working Tax Credits if you work more than 16 hours - but that's another story!
    Last edited by Lighttouch; 04-04-15 at 22:18.

  6. #6
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    Self-employment has lots more benefits than simply the financial ones. There's lots of stuff that you can do online from the comfort of your home, so it's really good for people who struggle getting to work. I do some freelance writing and it's really fun. Would definitely recommend it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jt14972 View Post
    Self-employment has lots more benefits than simply the financial ones. There's lots of stuff that you can do online from the comfort of your home, so it's really good for people who struggle getting to work. I do some freelance writing and it's really fun. Would definitely recommend it.
    Freelance writing may be "fun" but I know from friends who do this that it is extremely difficult to make a living from it. There is no job security or contract and unless you are a "celebrity" name, the money is not great. You may write an article but some magazines will only pay on publication - it may be months before you see any money.

  8. #8
    I may be interested in self-employment, in the long run.

    The problem with Permitted Work is that unless you manage to reach the threshold of 16 hours a week, in order to claim Tax Credits, within the 52 week time limit, you would have to stop working for a whole year, or not claim any benefits for 12 weeks!!! For self-employed people this would probably mean saying bye bye to any client-base they have built up, with the likelihood of them never coming back!

    There is Test Trading, though, which you can do while claiming ESA, but this is only for 26 weeks.

    Does anyone know if it would be possible to follow a period of Permitted Work with Test Trading?

    As far as I can tell, some of us will be better off on Universal Credit, when it becomes available to ESA claimants, because there are no artificial hour thresholds. Instead, there is a Minimum Income Floor, that people will be expected to earn for themselves. I think for many disabled people this figure will be 16 hours x the minimum wage. They are not interested in how many hours someone works at all. So, if someone cannot work many hours, but is lucky enough to find work that earns more than the minimum wage, then they should be able to reduce their hours accordingly, to take account of their health conditions.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    I believe that if self-employed the DWP would expect you to be grossing an income of at least £1/000 per month after 6 months for the job to be sustainable.

    Access to Work would also expect that gross income to continue with support.

  10. #10
    Hi Lighttouch

    I think we may be talking at cross-purposes. Earning £1000/month equates to full-time hours, at the minimum wage.

    I'm speaking from the perspective of being on ESA. I find it hard to see how the DWP would expect someone with long-term health conditions to work full-time, even in the long run. As far as I can see, 16 hours is about what they expect. I think that's what it is to qualify for the Working Tax Credit with Disability Element.

    I don't know what they will expect, when Universal Credit replaces Tax Credits though. Hopefully, it'll be 16 hours too, but that remains to be seen.

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