If you have a disability or a long-term physical or mental health condition that makes it hard for you to do parts of your job for your employer, or to get to and from your place of work, you may be eligible to apply to the government for a grant under Access to Work: www.gov.uk/access-to-work. Access to Work also covers apprenticeships, provided you are aged 16 or over.
An Access to Work grant can pay for items or services such as:
• special equipment or software, or adaptations to the equipment you use
• support worker services, such as British Sign Language interpreters, or a job coach to help you in the workplace
• mental health support
• adaptations to your vehicle so you can get to work
• the cost of taxi fares to and from work if you cannot use public transport (for example, you are a wheelchair user and your journey includes a train station that does not have ramps)
• the cost of moving your equipment if you change workplace.
Your workplace can also include your home if you work from there for some or all of your working time. The grant will not, however, cover any items that would normally be needed to do your job role whether you are disabled or not.
You can apply for a grant either online or through the Access to Work helpline (0800 121 7479) and you will need to be ready to explain how your condition affects you either at work or getting to work, what help you are already getting and what other help and support you need: www.gov.uk/access-to-work/apply. You will also need to provide your workplace address and the name, email address and phone number of a workplace contact (this should be your line manager). The grant does not have to be paid back.
The Access to Work scheme does not replace your employer’s duty to make reasonable adjustments, but rather provides for some extra help.
Please get in touch with Robin Williams if you have issues regarding disability at work via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.