Access to Work Programme

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 16th September 2022.

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Photo of Drew Hendry Drew Hendry Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Trade)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that the (a) evidence and (b) definition of in-work support required for a supported employee is clearly outlined to employers who employ people under Access to Work Plus.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

Access to Work Plus is testing whether providing additional support for employers who are willing to do more and flex job roles for employees who need more than standard Access to Work, can help unlock more employment opportunities for disabled people. Access to Work will use its contracted supplier who have suitably qualified assessors to identify the employees in-work support needs and the adaptations the employer has made to the workplace and the job role to accommodate the employee.

Access to Work already provides general advice on workplace adjustments for employers who employ disabled people, however, is unable to provide personalised advice as it is dependent on individual need. The Access to Work holistic assessment builds on this advice and considers the employee’s working environment, including any adjustments the employer has made. The assessment is carried out in the workplace with the employee and the employer present, the assessment will make tailored recommendations for the disabled employee and offer advice for employers on the support they can provide for their employee.

The Access to Work case manager will use the assessments recommendations to determine if the employer satisfies the Access to Work Plus criteria.

To help build employer understanding of Access to Work Plus and the process used to determine eligibility, a series of communications have been developed and shared with a range of stakeholders, including Disability Confident employers and Jobcentre Plus. The reaction to these communications will be monitored to help inform further communication products and amended as necessary.

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