We want Access to Work to be easier to claim

Sun,27 October 2013

More people are using Access to Work.

In 2012-13 10,390 started using Access to Work (called ‘new starts’), up from 9,760 in 2011-12; and the first quarter of 2013-14 looks a bit better again (2710 from April to June: if that rate continues we would be heading for 10,840 new starts this year).

The total number using Access to Work in 2012-13 was 31,450 (ie new starts and on-going users) – again more than the year before.

This increase is a direct result of campaigning by disabled people who pointed out Access to Work was government’s best kept secret. And it is good that Access to Work has been extended to cover ‘ways in’ to employment like supported internships and work experience.

BUT this is only a start. This programme is popular -  but still not known to most people working in small businesses. It works! – and helps people stay in employment. But it could be far less bureaucratic, with fewer forms to fill in for both the employee and employer.

We urge Government to make improvements to Access to Work a centrepiece of their disability employment strategy.