Hiring a disabled person is not only beneficial to your business and the disabled community, but it is one of the largest sectors of the workforce which is being under-utilised. With 20% of the UK’s working age population being disabled, it is essential for our economy to provide better opportunities for disabled recruitment.
This is why the government has devoted a vast fund towards providing disability support, known as Access to Work, which is able to offer you up to £60,700 per year.
With the potentially devastating impact of coronavirus on the economy, it is essential that we rebuild the economy with those who have been left behind in the past at the centre of our recruitment policy.
Together, we can revolutionise the workforce in a more equitable and profitable manner than ever before.
Access to Work
Access to Work is the government’s main scheme for providing employers with support for their disabled employees. The scheme applies to England, Scotland and Wales only.
The scheme provides a grant to cover the costs of additional support, up to a maximum of £60,700 per year, not the support itself. As such, you have to initially pay for the necessary support, to which the government will reimburse you.
This support is defined by the government as follows:
aid and equipment in the workplace
adapting equipment to make it easier for the employee to use
communication support at interviews
a wide variety of support workers
the Mental Health Support Service
other practical help at work, such as a job coach or a sign language interpreter
flexible working patterns to accommodate changes in mood and impact of medication
providing a mentor to give additional support at work
arranging additional time to complete certain tasks
providing additional training
regular meetings between you and your employee to talk about their concerns
a phased return to work, such as reduced hours or less days
In order to be eligible, the government has outlined a number of conditions your employee must meet:
have a disability or long term health condition that has a negative effect on their ability to do their job
have a mental health condition and need support in work
be in, or about to start, paid employment (including self-employment)
normally live and work in Great Britain
not be claiming Incapacity Benefit or Employment Support Allowance once they are in work
The employee must have been hired within 6 weeks prior to the application date
How to Claim
Although the government will be reimbursing you, the employer, it is your employee who must apply for Access to Work.
In order to apply, your employee will need:
their National Insurance number
the workplace address, including your postcode
the name, email address and work phone number of a workplace contact, for example their manager or yourself
a unique tax reference number (if self-employed)
the name of their New Enterprise Allowance mentor (if they have one)
The main methods of application are through telephone (0800 121 7479) or through textphone (0800 121 7579).
For more information on how to claim, go to the government’s online guide for employers.
If for any reason you cannot follow the usual application method, you can send a letter to:
Access to Work
Operational Support Unit
Harrow Jobcentre Plus
Mail Handling Site A
We are in the process of compiling the appropriate information regarding accessing local support, such as grants or funding from your local council or charities.
For more information, go to our page on local assistance, or you can search for your local council’s website and contact information through this link.