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Alternative ways of working

These days many people choose to do work which does not follow the traditional 9am to 5pm pattern. Some people need to work flexibly because of caring responsibilities or other personal commitments. People with certain kinds of disabilities can also benefit from more flexible work patterns. It is possible to find work on a part-time or job share basis, and a number of organisations now offer a flexi-time system, giving you more control over your working hours. This section focuses on two other possible ways of working: Self-employment and Homeworking.


There may be a number of reasons for choosing to become self-employed. You may have an idea for your own business, you may wish to work in an environment which you can adjust to suit your needs or self-employment may be the best way of arranging a job around your skills. Setting up your own business can seem daunting and it is hard work but it can also be very rewarding and there are organisations that can offer help, guidance and financial support in the form of grants or loans.

Your first point of contact if you are considering self-employment should be the Disability Employment Adviser (DEA) at your local Jobcentre Plus office. They can help you decide whether self-employment is a viable option and help you locate sources of funding and support. You can also ask for a leaflet called Work for Yourself.

New Deal – Self-employment option

You can get support and advice on setting up and running your own business from the government’s New Deal scheme. If you are aged 18-24 you can receive help from a self-employment

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