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Access to work and cost sharing responsibilities

Access to Work

When a member of staff registers for support with the DSO, the Staff Disability Adviser may advise them to apply to the Access to Work scheme for assistance with support for their disability/long-term health condition.

The Access to Work programme is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions, and its aim is to remove practical barriers that disabled people face in work.

Access to Work can contribute to funding for a variety of support, including:

  • A communicator (e.g. a BSL interpreter at interviews)
  • A support worker (e.g. in-work dyslexia or mental health support)
  • Special aids and equipment in the workplace (e.g. a specialist chair)
  • Grants for travel to work (e.g. to help cover the costs of taxi fares)
  • Adaptations to premises and equipment

Assessments of the employee's support requirements are either carried out by Access to Work or the DSO.  The DSO act as the facilitator for the application for Access to Work, and takes on the University's liaison role. 

We make sure that any items of equipment are ordered, support workers matched and provided and that sources of funding within the University are used appropriately.

Cost-sharing responsibilities for line managers under the Access to Work scheme

For new employees of the University, Access to Work will usually pay 100% of the costs of any support (if they apply within 6 weeks of starting a new post).  

For existing employees, the University must pay the first £1000 of any equipment costs, and a further 20% of any remaining costs after this contribution.  This cost share does not apply to support workers and travel to work costs, which are usually 100% funded by Access to Work.

The University has set aside a fund that is administered by the DSO to assist Schools and Divisions in meeting the support costs that are not funded by Access to Work.  

In order to maximise the use of this fund, current practice is that the central fund will provide half the costs not covered by Access to Work, and that the School or Division's budget holder will be asked to contribute the remaining costs.  If these costs are prohibitive, the University will consider a greater contribution.

Cost share when no Access to Work involvement

Under certain circumstances, e.g. the DSO is recommending equipment which will fall under the £1000 contribution Access to Work requires us to make, we will request that the School or Division contributes 50% of the total costs of equipment.

Notification about cost sharing

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The DSO will not normally contribute to costs that have been incurred when a School/Division has organised or procured support independently of the DSO.  This also applies if the disabled employee is not registered with the DSO.