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

  • travel to work

  • travel in work

  • 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

Eligibility

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 over 16 years old

  • 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
Wolverhampton
WV98 1JE

Local Grants

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.