Access to Work

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2009 National Disabled Members' Conference
9 May 2009
Carried as Amended

This Conference notes that many disabled people are unemployed and find it difficult to obtain work. Some employers, particularly those in the Private Sector, see disabled people as an ‘expensive’ choice due to the need for access arrangements. The current economic climate means that it is now even more likely that employers will not take on disabled staff or not keep on existing staff who become disabled.

Some employers are not aware of the type of equipment and support available through Access to Work (ATW). And once a disabled person has found a job it can take a long time for the ATW process to sort out access requirements, provide equipment etc.

Unemployed disabled people are not eligible for ATW and so may be disadvantaged in looking for work.They may not have gained the experience and received the training in use of the necessary equipment. This means that they will have to try and convince a prospective employer that they will be able to start work on a specific date when their access needs will met by ATW. However, they may then have to try and learn to use equipment at the same time as starting a new job, putting them at a disadvantage during any probationary period.

This Conference calls upon the National Disabled Members’ Committee to work with any relevant organisations and statutory bodies to:

1.Improve publicity about ATW to raise awareness of it with employers in all


2.Lobby the Government and raise with Job Centre Plus the issue of the need to improve the speed of the whole process of applying for ATW funding and getting the necessary equipment and support in place.

3.Campaign/work towards ATW being available to unemployed disabled people who are actively looking for work.