Recent figures have highlighted that a record number of disabled people have been supported by the UK Government’s Access to Work scheme.
Across the period of 2018/19, it has been highlighted that 36,240 disabled people have received the grant.
It is everyone’s right to get into employment and contribute to society, and with the Access to Work scheme, more people are getting the opportunity to fulfil their potential.
Minister for Disabled People, Justin Tomlinson said: “Having a disability or health condition must not be a barrier to enjoying a fulfilling career – and the support available means there’s no excuse for employers who refuse to be inclusive.
“Access to Work removes the obstacles facing disabled people in the workplace, helping to level the playing field and ensure businesses don’t see employing disabled people as a burden.”
The government-run scheme was introduced to break down workplace barriers for the disabled community or those living with health conditions.
Through paid for reasonable adjustments, including support workers, special equipment, BSL interpreters to travel expenses: these small amendments are assisting in breaking down the disability employment gap.
And the scheme is working. Nearly 950,000 disabled people are in work compared to five years ago, which is a promising increase as past statistics show that disabled job seekers need to play for 60 per cent more jobs compared to non-disabled job seekers.
One organisation committed to providing employees with reasonable adjustments is Llyods Banking Group.
Wheelchair user, Ross works for the bank and has a support worker assisting him in his role. He enthuses: “Access to Work has made a massive difference to my life. Without it, I wouldn’t have a job.
“I probably wouldn’t be earning a living, I wouldn’t own my own home, I wouldn’t be able to go on holidays and I wouldn’t be able to follow the hobbies that interest me because I wouldn’t be able to be employed. It makes a massive, massive difference to me.”
As much as Ross is reaping the rewords from Access to Work, employers are, too.
“With more disabled people than ever before supported through Access to Work, thousands more employers across the country are benefitting from the skills disabled people bring to the workplace,” continues the Minister.
The commitment to Access to Work from the UK Government is evident, with the highest funding being spent on the scheme ever before. Last year, £129.1 million was spent – an increase of £15 million since 2010 – to get more disabled people into work.