If you have disability, or physical or mental health condition, you can talk to your employer about the changes they must make to your workplace in order that you are not at a disadvantage compared to others. These changes are called Reasonable Adjustments.

Access to Work can provide practical and financial support to help you start or stay in work. It can also give guidance to employers on supporting their employees. 

Talk to your employer about reasonable adjustments before you apply for Access to Work

The scheme is run through Job Centre Plus offices. You can apply if you are about to start a job, unless you live in Northern Ireland where it is covered by Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and different rules apply.

Access to Work can be used to pay for support to get you to and from the workplace, or to provide practical support once you are there. It can pay for items or services including:

  • adaptations to the equipment you use at work
  • special equipment or software such Alternative or Augmentative Communication (AAC)
  • adaptations to your vehicle so you can get to work
  • taxi fares to work if you cannot use public transport
  • a support worker or job coach to help you in an interview or in your workplace
  • disability or autism awareness training for your colleagues
  • the cost of moving your equipment if you change location or job
  • mental health support for up to 9 months from the Mental Health Support Service providers listed here  

You can apply for support from the Access to Work scheme if you are going into:

  • Supported internship
  • Traineeship
  • Employment
  • Self-employment

If a grant is issued, it can last for up to 3 years and can be reviewed as necessary.

Workplace Assessment

A Workplace Assessment is intended to identify how best to support an employee in the workplace. A Workplace Assessment is not an obligation for any employer. It will usually be undertaken if an employee has disclosed a condition and they are applying for Access to Work  support, or the company have been advised to undertake one via HR. Access to Work advisors may request a Workplace Assessment to confirm the support needs, but this may depend on the opinion of the Access to Work advisor and the level of the support costs being requested.

If you have autism or another neurodivergent condition, you should consider asking for your Workplace Assessment to be undertaken by someone who has an in depth knowledge and understanding of your condition, so that they can make the most appropriate recommendations