Access to Work (AtW) is a government scheme that funds practical support to assist individuals who have a disability or a long-term health condition (physical or mental) to stay within work. The support available to individuals will depend on their specific circumstances.
Access to Work can also provide advice and guidance to the University to assist with discussions regarding support and adjustments, and they will provide recommendations which are tailored to the individual’s specific needs and their circumstances. Access to Work will seek permission from the individual before sharing any information with the University. As the employer, the University may contribute to the costs of any agreed support.
Further information is available on the Access to Work webpages.
Individuals can apply to Access to Work if they:
- live and work (or be about to start or return to work) in England, Scotland, or Wales,
- have a disability or long-term health condition that means they need an aid, adaptation or financial or human support to do their job (long term means lasting or likely to last for at least 12 months),
- have a mental health condition and need support in work.
Individuals must also be either:
- already doing paid work,
- be about to start work,
- have an interview for a job,
For full details of the scheme please see the Access to Work Factsheet (employee guide) or you can watch the Access to Work: factsheet for customers BSL videos.
Access to Work can help pay for support that individuals may need because of their disability or long-term health condition. There is no set amount for an Access to Work grant (although there is a maximum per year). The grant amount depends on the specific case and can cover the support needed for an individual to get work or to stay in work. For example:
- aid and equipment in the workplace
- adapting equipment to make it easier to use
- money towards any extra travel costs to and from work if the available public transport cannot be used, or if vehicles need adapting
- an interpreter or other support at a job interview where the individual has difficulty communicating
- other practical help at work, such as a job coach or a note taker or lip speaker
If an individual has a mental health condition (diagnosed or undiagnosed), that is impacting on their ability to remain in work or they require support to do their job, Access to Work can offer assistance to develop a support plan.
Alongside a tailored plan to help individuals get or stay in work, one-to-one sessions with a mental health professional may also be available. Further information regarding access to these services can be found at Access to Work.
Part of the support plan may be to involve the University to ensure that appropriate support can be provided at work, however Access to Work will discuss this with the individual prior to sharing any information.
Staff can also access the University’s Health & Wellbeing resources for support.
Applications to Access to Work are employee-led and can be made in a variety of ways:
- Online: Individuals can complete their application online, which is typically the quickest and easiest way to apply.
- By phone: Applications can also be made by calling the Access to Work helpline
Following an application to Access to Work, an adviser will contact the individual to discuss their application further and arrange for a workplace assessment to take place. A tailored package of support, where applicable, will be developed and a report will be provided to the individual.
Access to work will provide relevant information to the University regarding the recommendations they make, as well as confirmation of whether or not the recommendations are in scope for Access to Work (e.g. for grant funding).
Further information can be found at Access to Work - After you apply.
University Employees can access additional information and guidance (for individuals and managers) linked here.
For individuals who wish to discuss this process prior to their employment start date, they should contact the HR Co-ordinator detailed on their offer letter.
The Disability & Accessibility Staff Network represents both Academic and Professional Services staff. The network welcomes anyone who considers themselves to have a disability or a long-term chronic health condition, caring responsibilities for someone with a disability, specific learning needs, or are neurodiverse.
Click here for more information
Staff can access accessible digital services through the IDS Intranet homepage (internal) to discuss their specific requirements and to view details of assistive technology available. Individuals who wish to discuss assistive technology prior to their employment start date, should contact the HR Co-ordinator detailed on their offer letter.
The University is proud of its ‘Disability Confident’ award and is committed to ensuring that all employees are supported to reach their full potential. As part of this commitment the Human Resources team will contact all staff, on an annual basis, who have declared they have a disability on their personal record. The purpose of this is to offer a disability support meeting to discuss their disability or condition, and to review or consider any support or adjustments.