Access to Work – making employment possible
Disabled people are more than twice as likely to be unemployed as non-disabled people. This is bad news for our economy, for the diversity of our organisations and, of course, for disabled individuals themselves. How can Access to Work help?
Currently around 3.7 million disabled people are in work. The Government has set a target of supporting 1 million more disabled people into work by 2027. Access to Work can help achieve this and last month saw an increase in the funding available.
What is Access to Work?
Employers are required to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to the workplace to ensure disabled people aren’t disadvantaged. This could include adapting the work environment, or changing the working hours for example. If these changes aren’t sufficient then that is where Access to Work comes in to place.
Access to Work is a grant scheme from the Government, which is used to pay for a variety of things that make employment more accessible. To apply you have to be in a paid position, or be about to start one. This can include self employment, an apprenticeship, work experience or an internship. Unfortunately it can’t be used for voluntary work.
What can it pay for?
The grant is very personalised, according to the needs of the individual. It can used to fund one or all of the following:
- The cost of getting to and from work, including taxi fares or a support worker if you can’t use public transport.
- Adaptations to equipment or the work environment.
- Specialist equipment or software.
- British Sign Language interpreters and video relay service support, lip speakers or note takers
- A support worker to help you in your work place.
- Disability awareness training for your colleagues.
How much can you claim?
From 1st April this year the grant increased and people are now able to claim up to £59,200 annually to help pay for support. The scheme is just one way to get more disabled people in to the work place. Building skills and confidence is also essential. If you feel you need support in these areas then get in touch with Henshaws on 0300 222 5555.
In this video I give a brief overview of Access to Work and what the grant can be used to purchase. Also, hear from George, a Henshaws employee who has been using Access to Work for over a decade.
To find out more and check your eligibility visit Gov.uk here.
You can start your application here.
If you need any advice or support then call our First Step Team on 0300 222 5555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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