What is Employment?

Employment is having paid work.  Anyone can work. You can get paid work if you have a disability.  You can get paid work if you have complex needs or a profound intellectual and multiple disability, a physical disability or a learning disability.

from WebEnable on Vimeo.

from WebEnable on Vimeo.

Employment is having a real job where you will be paid the going rate of pay for your work.  This is called a minimum wage.  See www.gov.uk for the current minimum wage.

You will have a piece of paper that says you are working.  It says how many hours you will work and what you will get paid.  You will be asked to agree and sign it.  This is called a Contract of Employment and is a legal document.

You will have a document that describes your job and the tasks you will be doing.  This is called a Job Description.

How many hours will I have to work? You can work full time or part time. The Department of Work and Pensions says that:  Full time is when you work 16 hours or more a week. Part time is when you work less than 16 hours a week.  This could be a few hours or a few days a week.

You can be self employed. This means that you work for yourself and may have to pay your own taxes, national insurance and pension.

This means you have your own business, company or enterprise. You can run your business in a way that works best for you and meets your needs.

  • A business is a person’s regular occupation, profession or trade.  For example a plumber or a gardener.
  • A company is a commercial business.  For example a large company like Virgin or Bodyshop.  These started off small and grew into large companies.
  • An enterprise is a new idea or project which makes money.  For example, Selnet.

What will you get out of it?

Top 5 things people with a learning disability said:



“I have gained knowledge about new things.  I know I can do it and I don’t feel nervous anymore.”


Life Skills


“You get to try new things and learn new skills, you learn things you would not learn if you were stuck at home.”


Making Friends


“You get the chance to meet new people.  You can make new friends at work.”




“You have worked hard to earn your own money and no one can take if off you!”




“It gives you something to talk about when you meet people, etc.”  “If you are earning your own money people have respect for you. You can talk about what you have been doing and it helps you make conversation.”