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Access to Work Scheme

Volume 707: debated on Tuesday 27 January 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are taking steps to ensure that people who become disabled during the course of their employment, and their employers, know about the Access to Work scheme. [HL792]

Jobcentre Plus is committed to supporting disabled people or individuals with a health condition, including those who become disabled during the course of their employment. Any individual concerned about losing their current employment because of their health condition can be seen by a disability employment adviser. Disability employment advisers work with the individual and their employer to explore practical ways to help them to keep their job. They can also signpost individuals and their employers to the support available from Access to Work.

The Access to Work national delivery team is currently implementing an internal marketing strategy to ensure that all Jobcentre staff involved with disabled customers are fully aware of Access to Work. Internal presentations have been given to the Jobcentre Plus national sales team, which works with larger national employers. An online aide-memoire about Access to Work is being produced, which Jobcentre Plus employer-facing staff can use to raise the profile of Access to Work.

Access to Work is also being promoted through presentations and exhibitions, as well as through close working partnerships developed with the major disability groups such as the Royal National Institute for Blind people, the Royal National Institute for Deaf people and MIND. Partnerships with the Employers' Forum on Disability and with large employers such as the Royal Mail Group have been developed. An initial dialogue has begun with Remploy, Unison and Unite to discuss making their members more aware of Access to Work. Exploratory work has begun with Skill (National Bureau for Students with Disabilities) on how best Access to Work can support the transition of disabled students from education to employment.

Information about Access to Work is available on the Jobcentre Plus and Directgov websites. Directgov, as a source of information about Jobcentre Plus services for disabled people, is widely publicised.