Government expands Access to Work scheme to help disabled employees work from home

The Government’s Access to Work scheme has been expanded to include support for disabled staff that need to work from home.

Updated guidance that was published last week states that Access to Work advisers can now work with individuals with disabilities and their employers to assess what support and equipment will be needed to ensure that they can work at home.

The Access to Work scheme awards grants of up to £60,700 to eligible employees for equipment that allows them to work effectively and comfortably.

If a grant has already been spent, but additional support is required because of the current working from home requirements, then workers are being encouraged to approach the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for further support.

The guidance has also been amended to include measures to prioritise new claims, to aid key workers and new starters, as well as beginning remote assessments, and there will also be a six-month extension of any existing grants if there are no changes in the individual’s situation.

Diane Lightfoot, CEO of the Business Disability Forum, said: “Access to Work is a lifeline for many disabled people, covering the costs of the specialist support and tech they may need to carry out their roles – adjustments which are available in people’s usual place of work, but not necessarily available in their homes.

“But given the importance of Access to Work, we are surprised that it has taken the government so long to officially communicate the changes and are concerned by the unnecessary anxiety and uncertainty that this may have caused some claimants.”

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