Record number of disabled people receiving funding, support and adaptations at work
Announced by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Justin Tomlinson MP, the number of disabled people being supported by the Access to Work scheme has achieved an all-time high, as new figures reveal 36,240 people received the life-changing grant last year.
Government spending on the Access to Work scheme is up to record levels, with £129.1 million spent last year – a real terms increase of £15 million since 2010.
Access to Work is a UK Government-run scheme that breaks down workplace barriers for disabled people and those with health conditions by paying for adjustments, including specialist equipment, support workers, travel to work and sign language interpreters.
People can receive almost £60,000 a year through the scheme, which is more than double the average annual salary and an increase of 40 percent in two years.
Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson said: “Having a disability or health condition must not be a barrier to enjoying a fulfilling career – and the support available means there’s no excuse for employers who refuse to be inclusive.
“Access to Work removes the obstacles facing disabled people in the workplace, helping to level the playing field and ensure businesses don’t see employing disabled people as a burden.
“With more disabled people than ever before supported through Access to Work, thousands more employers across the country are benefitting from the skills disabled people bring to the workplace.”
Access to Work is part of a wider Government drive to create more job opportunities for disabled people and bridge the disability employment gap, with nearly 950,000 more disabled people in work compared to five years ago.
Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd has committed to reviewing the Government’s goal to see one million more disabled people in work between 2017 and 2027 with a view to making the target more ambitious.