ESA Supported Permitted Work — Scope | Disability forum
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ESA Supported Permitted Work

Meezursrule Member Posts: 1 Listener
edited May 2018 in Work and employment

I have personality disorder and problems with anxiety/depression and am interested in working for a well known mental health charity in Leeds.  I currently receive Income Based ESA (Support Group rate) and PIP.  The charity potentially does have people suitably qualified to offer support within the ESA Supported Permitted Work Scheme and they have a vacancy which is 18 hours per week, for work that I have the relevant qualifications and experience to do.  Whilst I work well with formal social interactions (eg working with a service user) I have previously struggled with interpersonal interactions with colleagues and have needed support in that regard.  I don't feel ready right now to work full time without support, but am hoping that with support in a role like this one, I could develop the skills to eventually be able to hold down a full time unsupported role.  I'm also on the waiting list for a course of long term psychotherapy which might also help with this.

The role is 18 hours per week, and the ESA Supported Permitted Work rules state that you can work unlimited hours (provided you are receiving regular support from someone appropriately qualified to offer that support) but that you can earn up to 16 x National Living Wage.  

So my query is:  Does this not fall foul of the National Minimum Wage regulations 2015 (ie, if I'm working 18 hours per week and earning around £125, does that not mean that my hourly rate is below the national living wage??).  Or is it the case that the ESA Supported Permitted Work Scheme is exempt from having to meet the National Minimum Wage requirements?  

With thanks for any advice,



  • Pia_Scope
    Pia_Scope Scope Support to Work service Posts: 41 Courageous
    [email protected]

    The national minimum rate is £7.83 if you are over 25 and less if you are younger.

    When it comes to permitted work, you can read more about it here;

    I hope that this will give you some clarity.

    All the best with the new job and please let us know how you get on.

    Kind Regards

    Scope Employment Advisor
    Phone: 0300 222 5742
    Email: [email protected]

  • kezza261
    kezza261 Member Posts: 1 Listener
    Hi I am on ESA Wrag and I have recently signed up to an agency I go and see my work coach every 6 - 8 weeks in the jobcentre and I told that I've started doing agency work and she said it's a scam she has put me forward on to the work and health programme to help me look for work but will it be the type of work I am looking for?
  • markywebs
    markywebs Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Hi Kezza, I am surprised that an advisor would say that to you. I had very understanding advisors, to say an agency is a scam is not supportive in my book,

    The whole Agency system today is a scam if that's what they are referring to for example, unnecessary middle man theory but that's the system today as the big employers prefer them due to employee liability etc, I found that out a long while back, that's one of the reasons a lot of people can't make sense out of that game.

     I do hope that they have better for you in mind rather than steering you into their programme to fulfil their quota. Hope it works out, I would be interested how that went for you. Looking for a positive if its there :)
  • markywebs
    markywebs Member Posts: 8 Listener
    My question is this: I want to go self-employed as a web designer/developer. I will have to either go self-employed or create a company entity (LTD or LLC) the thing is that if I get a client and create a website that could cost them lets say 2K, this would take me a long time in regards to someone more able than me but the amount of time crossed with the income could go slightly over or even under the permitted work guidelines.

    My thoughts are that if this income is in a LTD company account, can I give myself the permitted work wage per week until that income to the company name runs out, maybe I have done 3 websites and after the amount of time etc I have company accounts that show I am over permitted work at a given time (obviously this would be fluctuating but mostly depleting due to wages paid out)

    Does the wage I give myself get seen as my income or does the companies income dictate under the rules of PW ??? This is a game maker or breaker to me. I think there could be another way of doing this which I will ask at some other point. The last thing I want to do is assume in this crucial situation. I need definitive/legal information before I proceed...


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