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Part-time employment for disabled students
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Part-time Employment for Disabled Students Contents
Introduction Looking for part-time employment Getting part-time employment What are my rights as a disabled person in part-time employment? 5. What support is available in part-time employment? 6. Finance issues 7. Useful publications 8. Useful contacts 9. Employment Service/Job Shops in Scottish universities 10. Useful websites 1. 2. 3. 4.

1 2 6 7 10 11 17 19 23 26

1. Introduction
You may want a part-time job for a number of reasons – maybe because you need extra money to live on or to support others, to find out what a certain type of job is like or to get work experience to help you get into your chosen type of career. Whatever the reason, this booklet aims to provide useful information about working part-time whilst being a disabled student at college or university in Scotland.


2. Looking for part-time employment
There are a number of different ways to find out about part-time jobs that are available. You may need to try one or a combination of these approaches to find the job that is right for you. Your university or college employment service Often the best place to start looking for part-time work is the employment service based within your college or university. Sometimes this service is called the Careers Service or Employment Office or Job Shop. These services usually have lists of job vacancies in your local area and have contacts with local employers. See Page 23 for contact details for the Employment Service within universities in Scotland. For details of the Employment Service within colleges in Scotland, ask Student Services within your college.

Newspapers & magazines
Most local and national newspapers have a job section at least one day a week where employment vacancies are advertised. Many national newspapers also have job vacancies advertised on their websites. Some trade magazines also have vacancies listed – ask your institution’s Careers Service for advice on which trade magazines are most relevant for you.

Jobcentre Plus
Your local Jobcentre Plus has listings of many of the jobs available in your area. You can find contact details for your local Job Centre at
2 or by checking your local phone book. You can also contact Jobseeker Direct for details of vacancies by phone – see Page 21 for details. Many Jobcentres have Disability Employment Advisers (DEA) who can advise you about the support that is available to help you get employment as a disabled person. In particular, the DEA can help you apply for the Access to Work scheme – see further details at Page 10. If your local Jobcentre does not have a DEA based within the centre, the advisers can usually make an appointment for you with a DEA who is based elsewhere. For further information, you could read Skill’s booklet Help for disabled jobseekers from Jobcentre Plus.

Careers Scotland
Careers Scotland is the national, all-age government agency who can provide advice and support to help you plan and progress your career. They do not usually have information about employment vacancies (these are held by Jobcentre Plus – see above) but they can advise you about part-time work that can help you in your longer-term career. You can get contact details for your local Careers Scotland office to arrange an appointment with a Careers Adviser by checking their website at
3 or by calling the national telephone number – see Page 19.

Voluntary organisations
There are a variety of voluntary organisations, both local and national, who can help you to find parttime work that is right for you. Some voluntary organisations in Scotland who specifically provide support and advice to disabled people are listed on Page 19 onwards. You could also contact UPDATE – see Page 23 or check in your local phone book for other relevant voluntary organisations.

There are many websites that can give you up-todate lists of employment vacancies and advice about looking for work. See Page 26 onwards for details of some of these.

Recruitment Agencies
You may be able to get part-time work through a recruitment agency. Skill’s information booklet Using recruitment agencies as a disabled jobseeker provides information on some of the main issues for disabled people using recruitment agencies. You can find contact details for many local recruitment agencies via web search engines or in your local phone book.

Disability Symbol
You should find that many of the large employers are aware of their duties under the DDA - see below for details. However, sometimes you may

wish to look out for signs that an organisation has a particularly positive approach towards recruiting people with disabilities. The Disability Symbol is awarded by Jobcentre Plus to companies or organisations that have made these positive commitments towards employing disabled people:





to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for a job vacancy and consider them on their abilities to ensure there is a mechanism in place to discuss, at any time, but at least once a year, with disabled employees what can be done to make sure they can develop and use their abilities to make every effort when employees become disabled to make sure they stay in employment to take action to ensure that all employees develop the appropriate level of disability awareness needed to make these commitments work each year, to review the five commitments and what has been achieved, plan ways to improve on them and let employees and Jobcentre Plus know about progress and future plans.

Employers who have signed up to these commitments will display the symbol (two ticks and the wording ‘positive about disabled people’) on job adverts and application forms. You can get a list of national and local symbol users from the Disability Employment Adviser (DEA) in your local Jobcentre Plus – see Page 21 for contact details.


3. Getting part-time employment
When requesting further information about a job, it is worth noting that you can ask for this in an alternative format, such as large print, Braille, tape or on a computer disc. You can also ask to submit your application in an alternative format. Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 – see below, providing application materials in an alternative format is likely to be considered a reasonable adjustment that an employer should make. Some organisations can provide advice and assistance with writing curriculum vitae (CVs) and filling in application forms. See Page 19 onwards for further details.

Under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) Part 2, the employer has a duty to make reasonable adjustments to the arrangements for interview. If you need any adjustments, it is advisable to tell the employer in advance so that they can ensure the necessary adjustments are made. For example, if a person is unable to attend an interview at a specific time because of a disability, it is likely under the DDA that the employer would have to rearrange the time. For advice about how to go about applying and being interviewed for a part-time job, you could read the Skill online publication Get that job or you could

contact other organisations for interview or application practice – see Page 19 onwards for details.

Disclosing disability
One of the issues that can arise when looking for work is whether, when and how to disclose your disability. Skill has produced a separate information booklet called Looking for work: disclosing disability. This goes into some detail about the different approaches you might wish to take, and the potential implications of your decision.

4. What are my rights as a disabled student in part-time employment?
Disability discrimination
As a disabled person seeking employment or in employment, you have rights under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). This law states (from October 2004) that it is unlawful for an employer to:  directly discriminate against a disabled person ‘on the ground of’ his disability i.e. this means that the disabled person would not have received the treatment but for his disability.  fail to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that a disabled employee or job applicant is not put at a substantial disadvantage


 discriminate against a disabled person for reasons related to their disability e.g. it would be unlawful to sack a disabled person because they took extended sick leave for disabilityrelated reasons  victimise a person for disability-related reasons Discrimination is unlawful in all aspects of employment, including the following:  application forms  interview arrangements  proficiency tests  job offers  terms of employment  promotion, transfer or training opportunities  dismissal or redundancy The DDA applies to all employers, including employers with fewer than 15 employees from October 2004 (excepting the armed forces). You have rights as a disabled person in employment whether the employment is part-time or full-time, and whether you are a student at the same time or not. If your employment is a work placement as part of your course, your college or university also have responsibilities under the DDA Part 4 to do what they can to ensure that you are not disadvantaged due to your disability. You could read Skill’s publication ‘Into Work Experience’ or contact Skill Scotland to discuss your rights when on a work placement in more detail.


Employers can sometimes justify not making adjustments to the employment arrangements or physical feature of the premises if it is deemed not ‘reasonable’ to do so. For example, an employer may be able to justify not spending significant sums on individually-tailored adjustments in respect of short-term, part-time employment. However, many adjustments cost little or nothing and employers must do what they reasonably can to ensure that disabled people are not disadvantaged. It is also important to note that as a disabled person, you may be able to get financial assistance from the Access To Work scheme to make adjustments or provide equipment or assistance in the workplace – see Page 10 for details. For more information about the your DDA rights in employment, see Skill’s information booklet The Disability Discrimination Act (1995) (including Part 4: Education 2001) or the Code of Practice: Employment – see details on Page 18. If you think that you may have experienced discrimination from an employer, you can get further information from the Disability Rights Commission - see contact details on Page 20 onwards.

Employee rights
As an employee, you have other rights under law. These cover areas such as holiday entitlement, sick leave, health and safety, and redundancy rights. For more information, see Page 19 onwards for organisations who can provide advice.


5. What support is available in part-time employment?
Access to Work (AtW) provides practical help to disabled employees. AtW has been created to be a flexible scheme equipping disabled people to overcome barriers in the workplace, by meeting some of the extra employment costs that arise from a disability. Examples of help available through Access to Work: • a communicator/interpreter for a job interview, if you are deaf or hard of hearing or have communication difficulties • a support worker if you need practical help, either at work or getting to work, such as a reader for somebody with a visual impairment; communicator for a deaf or hard of hearing person (including an interpreter for work interviews); a specialist job coach for a person with a learning difficulty; or a helper for personal care needs at work • equipment (or alterations to existing equipment) to suit your particular needs • alterations to premises or a working environment to make it more accessible • help towards taxi fares or other transport costs if you cannot use public transport to get to work, including help with adaptations to a car. Help from AtW is available to you if you are disabled and either about to start a job or already in work. You can be in or about to start any kind of

work - part-time, full-time, temporary or permanent. Other kinds of funding you get, such as Disabled Students Allowance or Disability Living Allowance, do not affect the amount of funding you can receive through AtW. If you apply for AtW within 6 weeks of starting your job, AtW will meet all of your approved costs. If you have been in work for more than 6 weeks, AtW will meet a proportion of the costs of adaptations to premises or aids and equipment. You can get more information about AtW from the Jobcentre Plus, or by contacting the AtW Business Adviser – see contact details on Page 19.


Finance Issues

It is important that you have all the information about the effect of taking up part-time work on your whole finances. This section provides an outline of the effect of earned income on welfare benefits and student support entitlement. Please note that Skill is unable to carry out individual calculations. Your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau (see Page 20) or the welfare adviser in your college or university, if you have one, can help you work out the amount you are likely to receive.


Jobseeker’s Allowance You cannot usually get Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) if you are studying full-time. To claim JSA, you must be working less than 16 hours per week and the Jobcentre Plus office must be satisfied that you are available for work despite your course. Usually this means that the hours of your course are completely different to the hours you have agreed to be available to work, or if a job becomes available, you must be prepared to  rearrange the course around the job, or  give up the course, and  take time off the course for the interview, and  be ready to start work at once. For further information about claiming JSA, you should contact your local Jobcentre Plus to arrange an appointment – see Page 21 for contact details.

Income-assessed benefits
Some welfare benefits are given specifically to people on low incomes. These are Income Support, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and the Social Fund. To find out if you are eligible for Income Support, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit whilst you study, read Skill’s information booklets Income Support for Disabled Students , Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit for Disabled Students and Funding for Disabled Learners from Scotland.


If you are eligible to claim Income Support as a student, you usually must not be working more than 16 hours per week. However, you can still apply for Income Support even if you work over 16 hours per week if:  your earnings are 75% or less of what you would be paid if didn’t have a disability, or  if you work 75% or less hours due to your disability As income-assessed benefits are aimed at those on a low income, earnings from part-time work may mean that you are ineligible to continue to receive these particular benefits. Your net weekly earnings are taken into account in an income assessment for benefits, after the following earnings are disregarded:  £25 if you are a lone parent claiming housing benefit or council tax benefit, £20 if you are a lone parent claiming Income Support  £20 if you get the Disability Premium  £20 if you get Carer’s Premium  £20 for some part-time emergency services staff  £10 for couples  £5 for single people The amount left, after the disregarded earnings are taken off, is added to your Weekly income total. Your earnings may also affect the amount taken into account for capital - for every £250 of capital that you have over £3000, your Income Support entitlement is reduced by £1 per week. Your

entitlement to income-assessed benefits is calculated on the basis of the amount you need to live on, compared to your weekly income. For details of how this is calculated, see the Skill information booklets Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit for Disabled Students and Income Support for Disabled Students.

Disability Living Allowance
Entitlement to this benefit is not affected by being in employment or by studying, either part-time or fulltime.

Incapacity Benefit
For information on eligibility to claim Incapacity Benefit whilst studying, see Skill’s booklet Studying whilst incapable of work. Generally, if you do any work in a week, Jobcentre Plus treats you as capable of work and you cannot claim Incapacity Benefit for that week. However, you can do the following types of work and still receive Incapacity Benefit:  You earn no more than £20 per week – you need to tell the Benefits Office before you stop doing this work, or  You do supported work through a public or voluntary agency who provide work opportunities for disabled people – you should earn no more than £72 per week but the hours of work are unlimited. In practice, you should tell the Benefits Office as soon as possible so


that they can confirm that your work is counted as ‘supported work’, or  You work for less than 16 hours a week and earn no more than £72 per week for a maximum of 26 weeks. You must tell the Benefits Office within 6 weeks of taking up this work. However, the sort of activities or tasks which you undertake within your part-time work, as well as your study, are likely to be taken into account when assessing whether you pass the Personal Capability Test to get Incapacity Benefit. If you work part-time whilst also studying part-time, the Jobcentre Plus Office may deem that you are capable of working.

Tax Credits
For outline information about eligibility for tax credits whilst studying, see Skill’s information booklet Funding for Disabled Learners from Scotland. Tax Credits are based upon your income in the previous financial year. If you expect your income in the current tax year to be lower or to be £2,500 or more higher than expected, tell the Inland Revenue and they will adjust your tax credit amount accordingly. If you do not tell the Inland Revenue, they will claim back money or make an additional payment at the end of the year. You can only get Working Tax Credit if you are working 16 hours or more per week. If your income

is below £5,060 (04-05 amount) you can get the maximum Working Tax Credit. If your income is below £13,480, you can get the maximum Child Tax Credit (£50,000 for the family element only of Child Tax Credit). If your income is above these thresholds, you can get a reduced amount of Tax Credits. You can calculate your eligibility for Tax Credits on the Inland Revenue website or call their helpline for contact details – see Page 21. Or ask for further information for the Citizen’s Advice Bureau – see Page 20 for contact details.

Carer’s Allowance
Full-time students cannot receive Carer’s Allowance. To be eligible to receive Carer’s Allowance, you should be spending at least 35 hours per week caring for a disabled person. Carer’s Allowance is not means-tested but you must not be earning over £77 per week to receive the Allowance.


7. Useful publications
Information from Skill
Skill publishes a range of information booklets for disabled students including:  Funding from charitable trusts  Funding for disabled learners from Scotland  The Disability Discrimination Act (1995) (including Part 4: Education 2001)  Income Support for disabled students  Housing Benefit and Council Tax benefit for disabled students  Help for disabled jobseekers from Jobcentre Plus  Looking for work: disclosing disability  Careers and work for people with disabilities  Using recruitment agencies as a disabled person Details of our information booklets and their prices are available from the Skill Information Service or from Skill Scotland. Disabled people can obtain five free booklets on receipt of a stamped addressed envelope. They can be downloaded free from our website


Skill produces a number of other publications relevant to disabled people in education and employment. These include: Into Higher Education. Annual guide for disabled people on applying to university. Cost £2.50 to students, £15.00 for professionals or organisations. A Guide to the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 for Institutions of Further and Higher Education Cost £12.50

Other publications
Code of Practice for the elimination of discrimination in the field of employment against disabled persons or persons who have had a disability Published by the Disability Rights Commission Read/download online at: Or order free from the DRC Helpline on: Tel: 08457 622633 This Code of Practice explains legal rights and requirements for disabled people and employers under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.


8. Useful contacts
AbilityNet Scotland - Scottish National Centre PO Box 28423, South Queensferry, EH30 9ZN Tel: 0131 331 6381 Fax: 0131 331 7418 E-mail: Website: AbilityNet provides free information and advice on IT for disabled people, individual assessment of technology needs, the supply of assistive technology with free support, and consultancy for employers on system and workstation adaptations. Access to Work Business Centre - Office for Scotland 21 Herschell Street, Glasgow G13 1HR Tel: 0141 950 5327 Textphone:0141 950 5218 Benefits Enquiry Line Tel: 0800 88 22 00, Text: 0800 24 33 55 Monday to Friday 8.30am to 6.30pm, Saturday 9am to 1pm. Careers Scotland HQ is at 150 Broomielaw, Atlantic Quay, Glasgow G2 8LU Website: Tel: 08458 502502 Careers Scotland can provide careers advice, information and preparation. Website includes listings of links to online careers advice.

Citizens Advice Bureau You can find contact details for your local CAB in your local phone book or by searching the directory available at: Provide impartial advice on welfare benefits, rights and a range of problems affecting people’s lives e.g. debt and consumer issues, housing, employment, and immigration. Disability Rights Commission DRC Helpline, Freepost MID 02164, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 9HY Telephone: 08457 622 633 Textphone: 08457 622 644 E-mail: Website: The DRC Helpline provides information and advice about all aspects of the DDA, as well as signposting to specialist organisations where necessary. Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities (Edinburgh) Princes House, Floor 3, 5 Shandwick Place, Edinburgh EH2 4RG Tel: 0131 229 0627 E-mail: Website: Provides CV & application advice, careers guidance, matching to vacancies, interview training and links to other relevant agencies. Particular support for disabled graduates.


Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities (Glasgow) Unit 6, Adelphi Centre, 12 Commercial Road, Glasgow G5 OPQ Tel: 0141 429 8429 E-mail: Website: See above under Edinburgh office details. Inland Revenue – Tax Credits Tax Credit Helpline: 0845 300 3900 Tax Credit Textphone: 0845 603 2000 Website with Tax Credits calculator: Jobcentre Plus Website: Jobseeker Direct Tel: 0845 6060 234 Jobseeker Direct Text: 0845 6055 255 You can find get contact details for your local Jobcentre Plus on the website above or in your local phone book. Contact Jobseeker Direct to get vacancy information and make job applications by telephone.


Learndirect Scotland FREEPOST SCO5775, PO Box 25249, Glasgow G3 8XN Tel: 0808 100 9000 Email: Website: Provide information on learning opportunities and employment contacts across Scotland. RNIB Scotland Employment and Learning Centre Jewel & Esk Valley College, Milton Road Campus, 24 Milton Road East, Edinburgh EH15 2PP Tel: 0131 657 8200 Fax: 0131 311 6688 E-mail: Website: RNIB Scotland’s Employment and Learning Centre helps adults with sight problems, throughout Scotland and the North of England, to secure the best possible employment opportunities. The Centre provides assessment and training for work. RNID's Employment, Learning and Skills Service Tel: 020 7296 8053 Textphone: 020 7296 8001 E-mail: Website: Supports people who are deaf or hard of hearing into training, job placements and employment. Local offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.


Skill Scotland: National Bureau for Students with Disabilities Norton Park, 57 Albion Road, Edinburgh EH7 5QY Information Service Tel/Text: 0800 328 5050 (Monday to Thursday 1.30 to 4.30 pm) General Tel: 0131 475 2348 E-mail: Website: Information and advice about post-16 education, training and employment opportunities for disabled people. UPDATE: Scotland’s National Disability Information Service 27 Beaverhall Road, Edinburgh, EH7 4JE Tel: 0131 558 5200 Textphone: 0131 558 5202 E-mail: Website: Umbrella organisation of national disability information providers. Can direct enquiries to the most appropriate local or national agency.

9. Employment Service/Job Shops in Scottish universities
Aberdeen University JobLink, Luthuli House, 50-52 College Bounds, Old Aberdeen AB24 3DS Tel: 01224 272828 Website:

Glasgow Caledonian University Job Spot Plus, Students Association, 70 Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow G4 0BA Tel: 0141 332 0681 University of Glasgow Careers Service, 3 University Gardens, Glasgow G12 8QH Tel: 0141 330 5257 University of Edinburgh Student Employment Service, 3a Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh EH8 9LW Tel: 0131 650 6688 Heriot-Watt University Job Shop, Careers Advisory Service, Raccarton, EdinburghEH14 4AS Tel: 0131 451 3394 Napier University Careers Department, Job Bank, Students Association, 12 Merchiston Place, Edinburgh EH10 4NR Tel: 0131 229 8791


Queen Margaret University College Jobshop, Student Services, 36 Clerwood Terrace, EdinburghEH12 8TS Tel: 0131 317 3337 University of St Andrews Careers Advisory Service, 6 St Marys Place, St Andrews Fife KY16 9UY Tel: 01334 462688 University of Stirling Job Shop, Careers Advisory Service, Cottrell Building, StirlingFK9 3A3 Tel: 01786 466697 University of Strathclyde Student Employment Service, Careers Service, Level 5 Livingstone Tower, 26 Richmond Street, Glasgow G1 1XH Tel: 0141 548 4866


10. Useful websites
The listings below of useful websites are in addition to those listed under ‘Useful contacts’ above. Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Service Useful information about benefits of part-time work and placements. Citizens Advice Bureau Advice Guide Useful section on basic rights at work. Employers Forum on Disability Lots of information for employers, such as examples of adjustments to work arrangements, Access to Work etc. PlanIT Plus Comprehensive information about careers, learning opportunities and qualifications in Scotland. Prospects Prospects: the UK’s official graduate careers website provides listings of part-time, full-time and temporary jobs for students, in conjunction with Hot Recruit.

More Than Work Information on building a successful C.V, employment rights, and contact details for university Job Shops across the UK. Worktrain Worktrain is a government website which provides job, training, learning and career profile searches and related information. Your rights at work: a guide for students Online booklet about employment rights, published by the TUC.

July 2004


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