ACCESS to WORK explained

Many people are unsure where to start with access to work - or even what access to work can actually do for them.

Access to Work is a government funded program to help people with any disability stay in work and achieve promotion and help them reach their potential by providing inclusive and supportive strategies and work tools to allow them to excel at their daily tasks.

Access to work, grab a coffee and learn more.
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How to make an Access to Work Application?

The application process is short and online but it can also be a daunting process especially when you have to write about your difficulties at work - however, we can help! 

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Access to Work Information

Professionally trained and experienced at supporting employees, our work place strategy coaches are experienced at identifying support and reasonable adjustments covered by Access to Work. We can help provide you with further support once you have accessed the scheme , we provide many assessment services and training that can range from individual sessions and job coaching to workplace awareness training.

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All our assessment forms are available to complete free of charge online.
They are designed to highlight any difficulties and provide information about you and your life.


Discover more about the process of assessment, the costs and potential outcomes it provides. Receive a tailored plan of action and advice in relation to your online answers and circumstances.


The importance of ensuing your physical health is good is essential and will cover eyesight, hearing, speech and other possible medical issues. 


The assessment takes around 4 hours to complete and is comprised of tests that look at different areas of learning and development.


Once the assessment is finished there will be a brief summary and, if possible, you will be given a diagnosis on the day.


During your follow up conversation, you will have the chance to ask any questions and discuss the recommendations, funding and support that you could apply for. 

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Access to Work - The Employee


Are aged over 16, you must be a resident and working in Great Britain.
Have a mental health condition or a disability and need support in work. 
In addition, you must have one of the following: 
- Already earning money in doing paid work  
- About to have an interview for a job
- Starting work experience under the Youth Contract.

Practical help at work, such as a job coach to help develop work skills and strategies Mental Health Mentoring.
A support worker to help with daily activities.
Specialist equipment and software for your workplace.
Adapting equipment to make it easier for you to use.
Money towards any extra travel costs to and from work.
Interpreter or other support at job interviews if you have communication difficulties.

Apply within 6 weeks of your new job. The sooner you apply for Access to Work the more effective it will be and the more support you are likely to get.
You can choose your own supplier, even if they are not in your report.
If you are self-employed or employ less than 50 people you are unlikely to pay for any of the support.

You can apply Online or by calling the Jobcentre Plus on: Telephone: 0800 121 7479
Textphone: 0800 121 7579
To find out more go to
Head over to to start the claim.

Access to Work - The Employer

You retain employees with disabilities or long term condition (keeping their valuable skills and saving time and money recruiting a replacement).
Support and value employees by having good employment policies and practices. It provides a safety net for employees with mental health conditions.
Make managers more aware and confident of disabilities and mental health conditions.

How much an employer contributes will depend on the size of the business. 
Small businesses generally do not have to pay anything. Access to work will normally meet 100 per cent of the costs of any adaptations, equipment or training for small businesses (less than 50 employees).
Medium-sized enterprises may have to meet a small proportion of the cost - for existing employees only. You will only have to share the cost for special aids and equipment and adaptations to premises or equipment. Access to Work normally covers 100 per cent of the cost of travel and support workers.
In all cases though, Access to Work normally pay grants of up to 100 per cent for any new employee (that is, someone who has been working for less than six weeks when they first apply for Access to Work). 

Support will depend on the employee's needs and their role. It can include:
- Job Coaching & Strategy Training and Mentoring
- Disability Awareness and Training for Managers and other Staff
- Assistive Technology Software and Training
-Equipment adaption and aids, Travel Costs and much more.

Make employees aware of the program and support them to apply as soon as they start work and before the 6 week deadline.
Train managers to identify possible needs and support applications as soon as possible.
Develop a relationship with a training company (like PDC) and use them for all provision, this will improve outcomes for the employee and company.

Visualise the Journey

Your Questions Answered

If you need help or advice with any of the questions below - please contact us. 

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How do I prove that I have a disability to my employer?

You don’t have to prove you have a disability to your employer. Telling them is enough for them to have a duty of care and legal responsibility to support you, make reasonable adjustments, and allow you time to undertake coaching sessions during work hours.

How do I find an access to work coach?

You have found one! We offer support for you in both Dyslexia Job Coaching and strategy training and training for assistive technology and awareness training. We can offer these to you even if we are not on the list of suppliers quoted.  

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What is a workplace Needs Assessment?

A Workplace Needs Assessment enables us to determine the reasonable adjustments, ongoing support and training required to enable individuals with disabilities or specific learning difficulties do their job to the best of their ability.

A workplace needs assessment is carried out, at your workplace, by a qualified Needs Assessor with specialist knowledge of specific learning disabilities.

The first step is to gather some background information, from both the individual and the employer, to determine if a Workplace Needs Assessment is appropriate. We do this via an online questionnaire.

Needs assessment information

What will my company's share of the costs be?

Access to Work pays a percentage of the total cost of approved support depending on how long a person has been employed, what support is needed and whether or not there is any business benefit. 

Access to Work can pay up to one hundred per cent of the approved costs for: 

unemployed people starting a job 

self-employed people 

people changing jobs with a new employer. 

Whatever the employment status of the applicant, Access to Work pays up to one hundred per cent of the approved costs of help with: 

support workers 

communicator support at an interview 

additional travel to work costs (above the normal costs). 

For people working for an employer who have been in the job for six weeks or more and who need special equipment or adaptations to premises, Access to Work pays a proportion of the costs of support, and will look to agree this with the employer.  

In all cases, Access to Work may seek more than the minimum contribution from the employer, where there is general benefit to the employer and/or individual seeking help. The employer or the employee may be asked by Access to Work for an additional voluntary contribution to the cost of equipment. This is voluntary, and the entitlement to support will not be changed should you choose not to pay it. 

1-1 job Coaching - what is it

A skills program based on Meta-Cognition Theory and Multi-Sensory Delivery:

Remote Provision.
Job Support Worker they help you preform tasks that you would have difficulties with otherwise. Filing, proofreading, making calls, travelling, reading and understanding.
Joint Sessions Training.
Promotes Communication.
“Buy-in” Improves.
Manages Expectations.
Reduces Discrimination.
Building Alterations.
Adaptations to buildings such as ramps and hand holds etc. 

Support Worker:

Including a driver, sign language interpreter, communication support (for interviews).


Taxi journeys to and from work if you cannot use public transport .

Adapted equipment:

Chairs and desks
Computer and additional screens, reading pens, magnifiers, hearing loops Assistive Technology training
AT integrated with strategies and skills
Taught in line with learning style
Awareness Training
Developed for each company’s needs and industry
Covers legal issues, reasonable adjustments, support available, AtW, different conditions and their affects.
Uses multi-sensory methods to model good practice.

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