Hundreds of disabled employees are to benefit from a £15,000 rise in Access to Work grants to assist them at work, following new measures introduced in Parliament yesterday (Tuesday 20th March 2018).
From April 2018, people will be able to claim up to £57,200 annually to help pay for additional support that they may need in the workplace – approximately £15,000 more than the current cap of £42,100.
Access to Work provides financial support to ensure someone’s disability or health condition doesn’t hold them back at work, and can cover workplace adaptations, assistive technology, transport and interpreters.
Increasing the amount people can receive annually will ensure that more disabled people, particularly from the deaf community, are able to benefit from the grant and achieve their career aspirations.
The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Esther McVey, said “We believe that disabled people should have every opportunity to thrive in the workplace, and the tailored support of Access to Work caters to every individual’s unique needs.
“By extending this grant we’re ensuring that many more disabled people can reach their career potential, which is a key part of our commitment to getting one million more disabled people in work by 2027.”
The UK Council on Deafness said “We are pleased to see that the Department for Work and Pensions has decided to significantly raise the Access to Work cap.
This will help deaf people whose first language is British Sign Language (BSL) to access the communication support so vital to enabling them to thrive and succeed in the workplace.”
Minister for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance Kit Malthouse said “I’m very pleased that we have been able to expand the Access to Work scheme so we can help more people with disabilities into the workplace. In the last four years 600,000 more disabled people have found employment and we want to give a million more that opportunity by 2022.
“No one should be denied the chance to participate and Access to Work grants help unlock the potential of disabled people and give them that chance. With tailored support not only can they bring their talents into the workplace, but employers can gain access to the new ideas, new thinking and new skills they offer. It is a win-win for everyone and I hope I can get that across at my Disability Confident summit for employers at the Enham Trust this Friday.”
Mo Sweeney, Chairperson of the Test Valley Disabilities Forum, said “This is excellent news and should help more people with disabilities to get back to work, stay in work and progress still further so they reach their true potential. Access To Work has helped me personally to stay in work as a disabled person.”
Access to Work is part of a range of support available to ensure that disabled people can enter, and thrive in, the workplace. This includes supported work experience placements, the government’s Disability Confident scheme and personalised support package. These are all part of the government’s ambitious plan to see a million more disabled people in work by 2027.
Leading Hampshire-based disability charity Enham Trust will be hosting its first Disability Confident event on Friday 23rd March.