How to ensure your employees are making the most of what they're entitled to
Access to Work is a government grant for practical support to allow employees to begin a new job or to stay in work. It helps people who have a disability or health issue – and covers a wide range of conditions from dyslexia to physical requirements.
It can help your business hire disabled people who have the skills you need, or allow you to retain an employee who develops a disability or long-term condition.
Your employee can gain support to cover the extra costs of working that may arise because of their health condition, such as aid and equipment in the workplace or adapting equipment to make it easier for them to use. Funds can also be used to put towards extra travel costs if they can’t use public transport, an interpreter for a job interview, support workers, the Access to Work Mental Health Service or other practical help such as a job coach.
If your employee has a mental health condition, they will be offered help to develop a support plan to help them return to work or remain in the workplace.
How it works:
1 The application must come from the employee, but you can help by guiding them to the website to apply: https://www.gov.uk/access-to-work
The application process is quite straightforward and it isn’t too detailed. It requires information on the type of disability or health condition, how it is affecting the employee at work, what help they are currently receiving, what is needed and a workplace contact name and details.
2 An advisor will ring the employee and refer them to an independent, holistic assessor outside the Department of Work and Pensions. The assessor will learn more about the person’s role at work and what tasks they are required to do, taking into account the barriers and challenges in the workplace. The assessor will then write a report for funding consideration.
3 The employee and employer will be notified by letter whether the funding has been agreed or not, and how much is being offered.
4 When the support is agreed, it is up to the employer to purchase any equipment or human support and claim back the costs using the claim forms online.
5 If an employee has been at work for six weeks or less and/or is part of a company of 49 people or less, Access to Work will pay the full amount.
Whatever the size of the company, human support is also covered for 100 per cent, such as coaching costs.
For equipment claims, it depends on the company size. In a medium-sized company (50 to 249 people), the employee pays the first £500 and then 20 per cent after that.
A large company of 250 or more employees must contribute the first £1000 and then 20 per cent after that.
For more information, see the employer fact sheet at: