In the UK there are estimated to be over 100,000 people of working age living with sight loss yet only 27% of people of working age who are registered blind or partially sighted are in employment. We will support our members to develop the support they offer to working age people to help them to find and retain employment opportunities through a series of resources including guiding principles and evaluations of employment programmes run elsewhere in the sector.

In this section, we have endeavoured to provide you with useful information relating to employment. There are many helpful resources out there and we have collated some here to help you navigate this vast subject! For case specific information, we recommend speaking with our partners at HR Roots, who will be happy to help with your query. HR Roots advise is part of your membership package. For further details, please speak to our Membership Engagement Team.

For any information regarding employing individuals, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/browse/employing-people


PAYE is required in the United Kingdom on all payments of salary or other compensation. The amount of PAYE is determined by the employer based on the tax code and National Insurance category. The tax code is determined by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) based on the employee’s expected tax allowances, exemptions and reliefs for the full tax year, and partly by the employee’s expected other income. Published tables apply the tax code to determine the amount of tax to be deducted from the salary or wage paid to the employee. The employer is responsible for sending the tax on to HMRC each month.

PAYE is applied to sick pay, maternity pay, directors’ fees and pensions (but not the state pension), as well as wages and salaries. Because the tax code reflects other income (including the state pension), the PAYE system typically results in the correct amount of tax being paid on all the income of a taxpayer, making a tax return redundant. However, if the taxpayer’s affairs are complicated, a tax return may be required to determine the amount of tax payable or refundable.

For more information, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/paye-online

Employment allowance

You could get up to £3,000 a year off your National Insurance bill if you’re an employer.

What you’ll get:

The allowance will reduce your employers’ (secondary) Class 1 National Insurance each time you run your payroll until the £3,000 has gone or the tax year ends (whichever is sooner).

Reference and eligibility: https://www.gov.uk/claim-employment-allowance

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates

You can find the current minimum and living wage rates here: https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates

Workplace pensions

Under the Pensions Act 2008, every employer in the UK must put their qualifying employees into a pension scheme and, where appropriate, pay contributions. This is called ‘automatic enrolment’.

If you employ at least one person you are an employer and you have certain legal duties. Get to know how automatic enrolment applies to you by visiting The Pensions Regulator employers’ pages.

Reference: https://www.workplacepensions.gov.uk/employer/

Further reading on The Pension Regulator website.

Statutory sick pay

You can get £92.05 per week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you’re too ill to work. It’s paid by your employer for up to 28 weeks.

You need to qualify for SSP and have been off work sick for 4 or more days in a row (including non-working days).

You cannot get less than the statutory amount. You can get more if your company has a sick pay scheme (or ‘occupational scheme’) – check your employment contract.

More information at: https://www.gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay

Health & safety poster and leaflets

Workplaces should display the Health and Safety law poster – http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/lawposter.htm

Business Gender Equality

Close the Gap https://www.closethegap.org.uk/ has launched its “Think Business, Think Equality” self-assessment tool, online. This tool is for small and medium businesses who want to find out how their business can benefit from improved gender diversity.

Starting and running a business

Starting and running a business is hard work but you don’t need to do everything yourself. Find out how your local Business Gateway office can provide you with the support you need.

Useful resources and further reading

HR Roots – Human resources for social sector employers

Department for Work and Pensions – Queries regarding work place pensions

Acas – Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service: provides best practice standards for organisations on anything from employment relation matters to employment law.


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