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Committee to investigate DWP's access to work programme

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Committee to investigate DWP's access to work programme

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Central Government

Disabled enduring 'shockingly high' level of discrimination Disabled enduring 'shockingly high' level of discrimination

The Work and Pensions Committee has decided to inquire into employment support for disabled people - and will start with an investigation into the Department for Work and Pensions’ access to work programme (AtW).

Designed to help long-term disabled people to start a new job or remain in employment, AtW is supposed to offer "practical support" which goes beyond the “reasonable adjustments” which employers are required to make by law.

AtW grants can cover, or go towards, a range of practical solutions to problems faced by disabled people in the workplace, such as adaptations to equipment, taxis to work for those who cannot use public transport, and support workers.

Government figures show that the programme helped around 31,000 people in 2012/13.

The committee is inviting submissions of no more than 3,000 words from interested organisations and individuals to assist in its enquiry, and is particularly interested in:

• The AtW application and assessment processes, from the perspectives of employees and employers.
• The adequacy of ongoing support, both in terms of the aids, adaptations and support workers provided through AtW, and the help and advice offered by the DWP.
• The effectiveness of AtW in supporting people with mental health conditions and learning disabilities.
• AtW’s effectiveness in terms of helping disabled people to, secure a job; stay in employment; and develop their careers.
• The steps taken so far by DWP to extend AtW, including its marketing and funding of the scheme.

The deadline for submitting evidence is Friday 20 June.

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