Access to Work

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Access To Work (ATW) is a government scheme run by Jobcentre Plus that covers the financial cost of providing disability solutions that would otherwise not be considered a “reasonable adjustment”.

However, employers still have a legal duty to make “reasonable adjustments” for all their employees disability needs under the Equality Act 2010.

ATW offers financial support in the form of a grant to help towards the additional employment costs incurred by disabled people in or entering paid employment. It aims to help overcome work related obstacles resulting from their disability. It is available to unemployed, employed and self-employed people and can apply to any job, full-time, part-time, permanent or temporary.

How can ATW help me as an individual?

ATW can help you work with your disability and achieve better connection with your working life and increase your productivity by providing you with the necessary support to make that positive change.

How can ATW help employers?

The ATW programme is designed not only to encourage positive change for the employee but also the employer. These disability solutions will create a healthier working environment, which encourages the highest productivity from an employee through improved access and application of their work.

What is the criteria for eligibility?

You may be able to receive Access to Work support if your disability or health condition has an adverse effect on your ability to carry out your job and you are:

  • In a paid job
  • Unemployed and about to start a job
  • Unemployed and about to start a Jobcentre plus arranged Work Trial
  • Self-employed

What is the process from start to finish?

Contact ATW

The first thing you need to do is contact the ATW Operational Support Unit that covers the area where you live. You will be asked a few questions to see if you are eligible for the programme. If you are eligible, an application form (ATW1) will be completed over the phone and sent to you. You will need to check the information and return the signed application (ATW1) to the Operational Support Unit.

Assessment

On receipt of the returned application the Operational Support Unit will allocate an Access to Work Adviser to your case. The Access to Work Adviser will contact you by telephone to assess your individual needs and discuss your circumstances. The Adviser will also need to talk to your employer.

If, following this conversation, it is decided a more technical assessment is required the Adviser will arrange for a contracted external assessor to visit your place of work.

Report & Recommendations of your needs

After the assessment has taken place a confidential report will be sent to the ATW adviser suggesting suitable adjustments, equipment or support you may need and providing details of costs and suppliers.

You will then be sent two copies of this report, one for yourself and one for your employer. The adviser will contact you to discuss recommendations. After this discussion an approval letter detailing the agreed funding will be sent to both you and your employer.

Re-imbursement

The final stage of the scheme will be your employer purchasing the agreed solution and then claiming the agreed grant back from ATW on a claim form which will be sent with the approval letter.

NOTE: If you are self-employed, the process works exactly the same with you acting as the employer.

How much will ATW provide towards the cost of my disability solution?

The amount of help you may receive from Access to Work will vary depending on how long you have been employed, what support you need and whether you are self-employed.

Access to Work can pay up to 100 per cent of the approved costs if you are:

  • Unemployed and starting a new job
  • Self-employed
  • Working for an employer and have been in the job for less than six weeks

Whatever your employment status, Access to Work will also pay up to 100% of the approved costs of help with:

  • Support workers
  • Fares to work
  • Communicator support at interview

Access to Work pays a proportion of the costs of support if all of the following apply to you:

  • You’re working for an employer
  • You’ve been in the job for six weeks or more
  • You need special equipment

The precise level of cost sharing is determined as follows:

  • Employers with 1 to 9 employees will not be expected to share costs
  • Employers with 10 to 49 employees will pay the first £300 and 20% of costs up to £10,000
  • Employers with 50 to 249 employees will pay the first £500 and 20% of costs up to £10,000
  • Large employers with 250 or more employees will pay the first £1,000 and 20% of costs up to £10,000

The average time can vary depending on the disability solution and how quick your employer is at procuring the recommended solution. Some customers who require more complex / bespoke adjustments can take longer.

How long does the ATW process take?

The average time can vary depending on the disability solution and how quick your employer is at procuring the recommended solution. Some customers who require more complex and/or bespoke adjustments can take longer.

How do I contact ATW?

Here is the list of all the Access to Work Operational Support Units and the areas they cover:

London

Contact this centre if you live in:

  • London
  • South East England
  • East of England

Jobcentre Plus
Access to Work Operational Support Unit
Nine Elms Lane
London SW95 9BH

Telephone: 020 8426 3110
Textphone: 020 8426 3133
Fax: 020 8426 3134
Email: atwosu.london@jobcentreplus.gsi.gov.uk

Cardiff

Contact this centre if you live in:

  • Wales
  • South West England
  • West Midlands
  • East Midlands
  • Jobcentre Plus

Access to Work Operational Support Unit
Alexandra House
377 Cowbridge Road
East Cardiff CF5 1WU

Telephone: 02920 423 291
Textphone: 02920 644 886
Fax: 02920 423 342
Email: atwosu.cardiff@jobcentreplus.gsi.gov.uk

Glasgow

Contact this centre if you live in:

  • Scotland
  • North West England
  • North East England
  • Yorkshire and Humberside

Jobcentre PlusAccess to Work Operational Support Unit
Anniesland JCPBaird Street
Glasgow G90 8AN

Telephone: 0141 950 5327
Textphone: 0845 6025850
Fax: 0141 950 5265
Email: atwosu.glasgow@jobcentreplus.gsi.gov.uk