Access to Work is a specialist disability programme, funded by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), to support disabled people overcome work related obstacles resulting from their disability. Tax issues arise where the funding is used to buy in the services of a worker to support a disabled person in his/her self-employment. For a disabled person who is an employee these issues are normally taken care of by their employer.
Under the rules, support workers may not actually do the work of the employer or run more than 20% of the core business of a self-employed person, but are there to assist the disabled person in a work environment.
Taking on a support worker brings with it a whole raft of tax, national insurance and employment law considerations. Yet it seems that Jobcentre Plus, which delivers the programme are largely ignorant of these regulatory burdens, and HMRC have little information on Access to Work funding and tax related issues. More barriers are put in the way of those with disabilities rather than removing them.
The DWP have recently consulted on the Access to Work programme and we have made a range of recommendations to improve training and guidance for staff and to encourage closer co-operation between the DWP and HMRC.
A link to our full response to the consultation is given below.
Specialist Disability Employment Support – Call for Evidence
Contact: Jan Tish (please use form at http://www.litrg.org.uk/ContactUs)