Access to Work (ATW) is a demand-led, discretionary grant that supports the recruitment and retention of disabled people in sustainable, paid employment. The grant contributes to the disability related extra costs of working faced by disabled people and those with a health condition in the workplace that are beyond standard reasonable adjustments, but it does not replace an employer’s duty under the Equality Act to make reasonable adjustments.
The grant provides personalised support and workplace assessments, travel to/in work, support workers, specialist aids and equipment including vehicle adaptations to enable disabled people and those with a health condition to move into or retain employment. AtW can fund up to £65,180 worth of flexible, personalised support per person per year.
Details on eligibility and how to apply can be found at https://www.gov.uk/access-to-work
Pushing the boundaries and going further
Access to Work is keen to go further and offer to support disabled people who have high in-work support needs and need more support than the current Access to Work scheme can offer. To see if we can make a difference and unlock employment opportunities for this group, Access to Work is testing a new employer offer, for employers who are willing to think differently about their vacancies and consider if they can adapt, shape or flexed job roles to enable a disabled person to retain, return or move into employment.
The new Access to Work, Access to Work Plus will test whether providing:
- Disabled employees with the opportunity to access enhanced personal funding and complementing this with,
- funding for employers who are willing to make workplace adjustments that are in-excess of standard adjustments and or, shape or flex job roles to accommodate disability requirements can unlock employment opportunities for disabled people who need additional support to work.
The Access to Work Plus employer element has two funding streams:
- A workplace adjustment strand which provides a one-off payment for adaptions the employer has made to the working environment up to £1,000 to enable the disabled employee to work, and/or
- A job role strand if the employer shapes or flexes the job role to enable the disabled employee to work. The total yearly amount of funding available is £3,000. The £3,000 is banded to reflect the number of hours the employee works.
The banded working hours and funding available are as follows:
- £1,000 for 7-15 hours worked,
- £2,000 for 16-23 hours worked,
- £3,000 for 24+ hours worked.
The employer element can be combined with the enhanced personal element or paid independently. The maximum amount of in-work support, a disabled employee can receive is £65,180 per year. This funding can be provided by the existing Access to Work scheme, Access to Work Plus or a combination of both. Introducing a new Access to Work offer for employers If the employer opens-up an employment opportunity, funding is available for the employer and the disabled employee to try out the job role ahead of starting employment.
To ensure the employer has the correct adaptations in place and that the job is correctly shaped Access to Work Plus will fund 8 weeks enhanced support for the disabled employee. Providing 8 weeks work experience will enable disabled person to try out the job role to build confidence, ensure their disability needs can be accommodated and provide financial security, as the disabled employee will be able to remain on benefits during the work experience period.
The proof of Concept went live on 16th May 2022.
As part of the Access to Work Plus proof of concept we are looking to test communications including different styles.
With the support of DWP communications teams a factsheet (PDF) and animation have been created to provide information in relation to Access to Work Plus.
Please consider this information and provide feedback by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org