Section 10 – Support to Gain Access to Work

Looking for Work if You’re Disabled

If you have a health condition or a disability that affects your ability to work, you can get assistance and advice on returning to the workplace by speaking to a Work Coach at your local Jobcentre Plus. Whether you have just lost your job or have been out of work for a long time, a Work Coach is trained to be able to help you to find work or to gain new skills for a job. They can help with work preparation, recruitment, interview coaching and even confidence building. For more information click here.

Disability Confident Employers Scheme

Looking for a Job

When you’re looking for work, look on adverts and application forms for the ‘Disability Confident’ symbol shown above. This symbol means:

  • the employer is committed to employing disabled people.
  • you’ll be guaranteed an interview if you meet the basic conditions for the job

Find out about jobs in your area at your local Jobcentre.

Getting Help – your local Jobcentre can help you find a job or gain new skills and tell you about disability-friendly employers in your area. They can also refer you to a specialist work psychologist, if appropriate, or carry out an ‘employment assessment’, asking you about:

  • your skills and experience
  • what kind of roles you’re interested in

Ask the work coach at your local Jobcentre.

Programmes and Grants – your work coach can tell you about programmes and grants to help you back into work. These include:

  • Access to Work – money towards a support worker or for the cost of equipment or travelling to work. Access to Work is a Government fund for those in work with a long term health condition or disability, including dyslexia.  It provides funding to minimise any impact your condition may have on you at work and it does not cost you anything. It is not means tested so it does not matter what you earn or what savings you have. You qualify for the fund if you have a condition that is likely to last at least 12 months or more.  You need to be in paid employment.  This can be full time or part time, with no minimum hours.  It can be a permanent role or a temporary role.  You also qualify if you are doing a Supported Internship, Traineeship, Apprenticeship, self-directed work experience, a Job Centre job trial or you are self-employed.  You do not qualify if you are doing volunteering work.

Click on the picture to see a video about Access to Work:

Applying for a Job

You may be able to apply for an Access to Work grant if you need communication support at your job interview (for example, a British Sign Language interpreter or a lipspeaker).

Questions about your health or disability:

An employer is not normally allowed to ask you questions about your health or disability before they offer you a job.

They can only ask you about this for very limited reasons, for example to:

  • make ‘reasonable adjustments’ – for example if you need a large print version of a test
  • decide if you can do something that is an essential part of the job

If you’re treated unfairly when you apply for a job

Contact the Equality Advisory Support Service if you think you’ve been treated unfairly.

You may also be able to take a complaint to an employment tribunal – you have to do this within 3 months of the discrimination happening.

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