What is Access To Work – and should I apply?
Have you heard about Access to Work (ATW) and the funding it could provide for you or some of your employees? You can be forgiven if this is a new topic for you! Statistics are limited but data from 2020-21 shows just 100,000 of the 3.7 million working aged people in the UK are making use of it.
So, what is Access to Work?
Introduced by the DWP in 1994, ATW was designed to assist you. Helping you to secure a job, maintain your current position, or transition into self-employment. Funded by the Government, this scheme extends both financial and hands-on assistance to those of us living with a disability, long-term health condition, or neurodivergent conditions.
The aims of ATW are to level the playing field and empower you to work to your strengths. Access to Work achieves this in a number of ways:
Support for Individuals:
ATW can help those of us who face obstacles in our employment or businesses due to disabilities or health concerns.
This might include:
- A physical or hidden disability.
- A mental health issue that makes it difficult for us to do our job or find work.
- Any neuro diverse condition that makes running our businesses or working more challenging.
Funding that aims to bridge the gap:
ATW ensures that you can access necessities, like specialist equipment or assistance with commuting, and other business or work support. This will allow you to perform your job efficiently.
These might also include:
- Employers making changes at work that help us to do our job.
- Communication support at job interviews.
- Specialist Support for those of us who are self-employed.
- Employers and individuals creating inclusive environments where everyone’s needs are understood and respected – highlighting the importance of both ensuring equal opportunities and fostering understanding among diverse groups.
ATW is a commitment to leveling the playing field for you in the workplace, or in business. This under-utilised funding makes the difference between success and failure for many of us.
If you think you fit into any of these criteria, then please apply.
We have created a free download to help you check your eligibility and apply.
Department for Work and Pensions. “Access to Work Statistics” Gov.uk. Oct 2022. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/access-to-work-statistics