News

Demanding more from the Access To Work scheme

Section: Policy into PracticeType: News Item Date Published: 10th July 2019

Versus Arthritis publish report calling for increased Access To Work spending.

Access to Work is a government-funded scheme designed to support disabled people, or people who live with long term conditions who have related workplace needs. While an employer is responsible for making reasonable adjustments to enable employees to stay in the workplace, if extra help is needed then Access to Work could provide it.

However, Versus Arthritis’ research has found that few people with arthritis know about the scheme and the help it can offer. 59% of all those previously surveyed had never heard of the Access to Work scheme and even those who successfully applied for support often faced problems accessing this help and ensuring recommendations were implemented by their employers.

The Versus Arthritis report (this link will take you away from our website) proposes that:

  • All stages of the initial application, assessment and award process should be clearer and easier to follow.
  • The UK Government should consult with disabled people and people with long term conditions on the practical meaning of “reasonable adjustments”.
  • The process for claiming travel costs should be simplified and a digital system provided to enable rapid reimbursement of travel costs and/or a system of agreed transport contracts for people needing regular travel help.
  • Communication about future reviews should be sent to people in their preferred format giving them advanced warning of an award period coming to an end, and instruction on what information they need to gather to make the process run as smoothly as possible.

If you would like to talk to Versus Arthritis about their report, or hear more about their policy work on employment, get in touch with them at: campaigns@versusarthritis.org.

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