Workers with disabilities will be able to claim up to £60,000 per year to help pay for workplace adjustments when the government increases the cap on the Access to Work grant this spring.
From 1 April those who qualify for the scheme will be able to claim up to £59,200 annually, up from the current £57,200 maximum, to help pay for any additional support they might need at work, from workplace adaptations, assistive technology, transport and interpreters, the Department for Work and Pensions has said.
Staff with disabilities
More than 27,000 workers received support under the Access to Work Scheme last year and were able to claim for equipment such as adjustable desks, IT equipment and voice recognition software to help them in their roles.
There was a 34% increase in the level of funding awarded to those with mental health conditions, while Access to Work provision for those with learning disabilities rose by 22%.
The government increased the maximum grant available under the scheme by more than a third last year – up until 31 March 2018, eligible workers had only been able to claim a maximum of £42,100. The amount of funding available is reviewed each year.
The minister for disabled people, health and work, Sarah Newton, said: “Access to Work provides tailored support to thousands across the country, ensuring a disability or health condition is not a barrier to achieve someone’s career aspirations.
“By extending this grant even more people can benefit from this personalised scheme, and more disabled people can thrive in the workplace.”
According to the Office for National Statistics there are around 3.8 million people with a disability in employment. This equates to 50.7% of the working-age disabled population, compared with 80.1% of the non-disabled working-age population in work.
In November the government published a voluntary framework to help employers report on how many of their staff have a health condition or disability. This, the government believes, will help increase transparency around which roles and organisations those with disabilities are involved in.