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‘One more missed opportunity’: government disability measures leave behind self-employed, IPSE warns

IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) has welcomed the government’s new measures to support disabled people, but warned that, once again, they leave the disabled self-employed behind.


IPSE’s warning comes after Theresa May today announced new measures to tackle the barriers faced by disabled people in the workplace, at home and in the community. They include a consultation on how employers can better support disabled people.

Other key measures include:

  • Higher standards for new accessible homes.
  • Reforming statutory sick pay.
  • Exploring ways to improve support for those on disability benefits through a Green Paper.
Simon McVicker, IPSE’s Director of Policy, commented: “It is certainly welcome that many disabled people will get significantly more support from these measures. But unfortunately, for the disabled self-employed this is just one more missed opportunity.

“Today, more disabled people than ever before are turning to the freedom and flexibility of self-employment. In fact, there are now over 611,000 disabled self-employed people in the UK – one in seven of all freelancers. Just focussing on employees is failing these people.

“IPSE recently published a
report on the disabled self-employed that called for urgent improvements to the benefits system, including publicising the Access to Work scheme more widely and re-designing the Work Capability Assessment to ensure everyone who needs support can get it.

“If the government really wants to help all disabled people, not just employees, it should follow these recommendations. At IPSE, we look forward to working with the government to make them a reality.”


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IPSE is the leading association for contractors, consultants, interims, freelancers and the self-employed. We strive to bring our members the most comprehensive and useful range of information and services and all the latest news about what affects your business.