All employers will be aware of their duty to make reasonable adjustments for employees with disabilities to prevent the person with a disability from suffering the disadvantage.
Access to Work (NI) is a Government programme which can assist employers by providing advice and an assessment of an employee’s disability needs in the workplace and, if appropriate, a financial grant towards the cost of necessary support.
The programme is available to overcome the practical problems caused by disability in the workplace. An application must be made by the disabled person directly and the assistance offered by the programme is tailored to the disabled individual together with their particular job.
Generally upon making an application, an Access to Work adviser will visit the applicant’s place of work and provide advises in respect of adjustments. Both personal and business benefit will be taken into account in all cases. Access to Work (NI) may also be able to help contribute towards the cost of:
- adaptations to premises and equipment
- communicator support at interviews
- special aids and equipment
- travel to work costs
- a support worker
- travel within work eg to attend a meeting or training course
In circumstances where help is approved, this will be provided via the programme for the required length of time and up to a maximum of three years. Following this period, the circumstances will be reconsidered.
For further information and applications contact should be made to the Department of Communities – Preparation for Work Programmes Branch.