March 2024

Demystifying Access to Work

Mark Woodward, Head of Occupational Delivery at neurobox.


Demystifying Access to Work

What is the UK’s Access to Work scheme? Well, this session is a great place to start.

Join us to take a deep dive into all things Access to Work. With the knowledge, experience and expertise of Mark Woodward from neurobox at hand, you’ll have the opportunity to learn all there is to know about Access to Work.

Meet the Speaker – Mark Woodward

Head of Occupational Delivery @ neurobox

…we are one of the very few countries in the world that has such a scheme and we are really really lucky to have it…

Screenshot of Mark Woodward during the live webinar. Mark is wearing a grey shirt and wearing black headphones.
Mark woodward, head of Occupational Delivery @ neurobox

For more than a decade, Mark has been working with organisations, managers, and employees to support neurodiversity and disability. Working with clients to design and implement neurodiversity and disability policies, through to working with individual managers and employees as an Assessor, Coach and Coach Supervisor.

Mark has also been fortunate to have had considerable experience in commercial senior management and operational roles, which has given him a significant understanding and awareness of not just how to support individuals, but their managers and the organisation too.

Watch the full webinar here:

Webinar Summary

Mark Woodward is a disability and neurodiversity consultant and the Head of Occupational Delivery at Neurobox – a leading workplace adjustments provider in the UK. In this webinar, Mark provides a comprehensive overview of the government’s Access To Work (AtW) scheme

AtW is a publicly-funded government grant that helps people with disabilities and neurodivergence to either start work, start a business, or move into self-employment. It’s been a key way for employees to gain appropriate workplace support since 1994 and supports people with dyslexia, ADHD, OCD, and other neurodivergences. In this webinar episode, Mark gets into some definitions and classifications to explain the finer details around Access To Work.


💫 The benefits of Access to Work

Access To Work is a government grant that provides employees with disabilities and neurodivergence with funded support. Known as ‘Reasonable Adjustments’, these supportive interventions should help employees to carry out their daily duties to a proficient level. 

Under the Equality Act 2010, all organisations must make reasonable adjustments for employees with disabilities or conditions that have a significant impact on their ability to do their job.

A key point to note is that eligible employees do not need to have a diagnosis to claim through Access To Work. This means that neurodivergent employees, for instance, do not need to go through the often lengthy process of diagnosis. Mark confirms that in his area of the UK, the waiting list to get an ADHD diagnosis is five years. But even with a private diagnosis, someone would need to wait around two years without any chance of support to do their job. 

This makes AtW a fantastic opportunity to gain support from the government for neurodivergent staff who recognise they may have neurodivergence and need support in a new job. The only exception to this is when eligible employees request travel support or they need a support worker driver.  

Eligible employees could expect to receive help in the following ways: 

  • Assistive Technology 
  • Software
  • Communication support for interviews such as BSL sign language or interpreters
  • Special Aids and equipment
  • Adaptations to premises and vehicles
  • Travel costs to and from work, and in work
  • Mental Health support services
  • Support Workers


🖥️ Reasonable Adjustments

Mark notes in the webinar how any Reasonable Adjustments made to an individual’s workplace can be fundable or non-fundable. For instance, some employees may need flexibility around their starting times to manage their condition. Or they may need a written summary of a project provided before they get into a meeting. Neither of these things will incur cost, but there would still be Reasonable Adjustments to make. 

It’s important to note that these are still Reasonable Adjustments. But they have a different definition from Access To Works’ definition which only includes fundable Reasonable Adjustments. 

In practice, Access to Work will advise and support an organisation to make adjustments for staff that require funding for. As highlighted, this may include providing someone who has dyslexia or ADHD with Assistive Technology. This technology may support such staff member to overcome any challenges they face with working memory while improving their communication and accessibility at work.

Within these two shared yet different definitions, how can organisations determine what is a Reasonable Adjustment to make for staff? The answer to this question will depend on the type and size of the organisation and the specific staff role or roles. But, in each case, there are some questions to ask: 

  1. How much of a difference will the adjustment make for an employee? 
  2. How practical would it be to implement? 
  3. How affordable is it? 
  4. Will the adjustment disproportionately impact others people’s Health and Safety?


✔️ Eligibility Criteria

To check eligibility for Access to Work, individuals should review the terms set out in under the Equality Act 2010. In the webinar, Mark highlights the following statement:

“You’re disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities.”

The good news is that the definition of disability includes all neurodivergences. This is because they’re deemed to have a noticeable and long-term impact on someone’s ability to carry out their work role. And–as explained in the previous section–a formal diagnosis is not required to gain support.  

So, should someone have a formal disability, neurodivergent diagnosis, or self-identify as having a neurodivergent condition, they would be eligible on the basis they can match the following eligibility criteria:  

  • Aged 16 or over
  • Be in or about to start paid employment or any form of self-employment
  • Reside in England, Wales, or Scotland

Trainees and interns that are part of a scheme recognised by the Dept. for Education can also apply for help through Access To Work. So anyone

There are of course some exceptions to the rule which all applicants should be fully aware of: 

  • Anyone in receipt of incapacity benefits, Employment and Support Allowances, Severe Disablement Allowance, Income Support, or National Insurance credits.  
  • Funding restrictions apply if the employee is regularly travelling outside of England, Scotland, and Wales for work. Applicants should check. 
  • If any applicant is a civil servant, employers will provide alternative pathways to Access to Work as formal support.


📋 The Access to Work application process

To explain how AtW works in real life, Mark provides a case study example of a fictional individual named Charlie. Charlie is in a new role with suspected ADHD but doesn’t have a formal diagnosis. AtW understands this and will not ask Charlie to provide any formal medical diagnosis to help. 

Charlie felt welcomed by their manager and comfortable enough to share their concerns about their potential ADHD. Charlie’s manager is understanding and tells them about the Access to Work scheme. Then, they go on to suggest they apply to the Access to Work scheme. 

Further steps in the process include: 

  • Access to Work call Charlie to arrange a workplace needs assessment. Depending on when Charlie started, this may be free to the employer or cost the employer up to £500. 
  • During the assessment, Charlie speaks to an adviser for around 30 minutes. This is so Charlie can share details of the role and the challenges they face. 
  • Soon after, Charlie received the assessor’s report with a summary of their challenges along with suggestions for what AtW might fund to support Charlie in the role. This may include recommendations for Assistive Technology or a form of training or coaching. 
  • Charlie will then meet with their manager to discuss making the alterations. Charlie’s manager isn’t obliged to make the changes and will also need to ascertain whether potential changes are Reasonable Adjustments. 
  • In this case, Charlie’s manager agrees to make all the changes and seek out suppliers to assist with the needed adjustments. 

Grants of up to £62,900 per year are available to staff with eligibility. This grant can pay for needed equipment, technology, and any other fundable interventions based on the results of a Workplace Needs Assessment.

Watch the Extended Q&A session here:

Read the Transcript

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Welcome to Skill Sessions. Lots of people joining. Thank you so
much for joining us today. And if it’s your first time joining Skills

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Sessions, welcome very welcome. And this is a an event series hosted
by CareScribe. It’s all designed to share knowledge around areas of

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neurodiversity and disability and ultimately help build and foster
an inclusive community where we can take specific topics based on

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this and discuss them. Each event is based on a different topic and
this month, we’ve got Mark Woodward head of occupational delivery

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neurobox joining us. And so we’re very excited to hear from Mark and
so great to see so many people joining. This is fantastic. It’s

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lovely to see so many of you here. So thank you very much for joining
and thanks for your support. I can see people are already familiar

Read More

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with the the chat function. So that’s brilliant. So, please do use
the chat in Zoom. Say hello. Let us know where you’re joining

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from make sure you set the the chat setting to “All”, otherwise, you’re
just talking to two of us panelists. So, yeah,

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please make sure you set it to “All” so you can speak to everyone. But
yeah, it’s been amazing to see this community grow over the last year

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and the conversations that we have on these calls are
fantastic. So yeah, please get involved as much as you can –

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great! So whilst everyone’s joining and before we really kick
things off, I’m going to tell you a little bit about about CareScribe,

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just tell you who we are, and you know, why we run these sessions. So
and my name is Rich and I’m one of the founders and directors of

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CareScribe. For those of you who haven’t heard of us before, we are
one of the UK’s leading assistive technology companies, we’re based in

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Bristol, myself and my other two founders, Chris and Tom, we’re all
neurodivergent, as are many of our team, and we spent every day

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working to support disabled and neurodivergent individuals to work
and study more independently, and we do that by building technology.

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That’s how we we try and affect change, and we have a couple of
software tools which you may have heard of or may even have used, one

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of them is called Caption.Ed, and the other is called TalkType.

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Caption.Ed is a piece of captioning and note-taking software designed to help people
better comprehend and retain some of the huge amounts of information

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that are thrown at us from lots of different directions in our busy
day to day lives. This is of course of tremendous value to a wide

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range of people, with a wide range of disabilities and neurodivergent
profiles, from those who are maybe deaf and or have hearing loss and

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struggle to comprehend what’s being said, and to those like me who are
dyslexic, or have ADHD, ASD, who may have similar difficulties or

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find it hard to retain information and stay focused. And so that’s
what Caption.Ed does, it really helps you to comprehend and retain some

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of that sort of that information and make some sense out of the noise
in our busy lives. And the other piece of software is called

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TalkType, which is a dictation tool which is helping people to
convert their thoughts into text, something which I and a wide range

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of people find very challenging for a wide range of reasons. If you
want to know any more about our assistive technology or CareScribe,

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feel free to pop a message in the in the chat and we’ll try and set
up a demo for you, also you can add add a request on to the feedback

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at the end and we’ll get in touch. Or there’s also a great opportunity
to see our software in action in a couple of weeks when my colleague

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Chris is going to be running a webinar called The Power of Assistive
Technology. Our Caption.Ed and TalkType can support neurodivergent people

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and people at work. So if that sounds of interest we’ll ping you an email
with some information about that and you’d be welcome to join that

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webinar, which is focused specifically on the software. Great, still
people joining, this is brilliant. As I say keep the chat going that’s

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that’s fantastic. Quick bit of housekeeping before we hand over to
Mark and get things rolling – if you’re not familiar

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with Zoom, captions are available, you can turn those on yourself. And
again, make sure you using the chat if you want to and and keep

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things moving and keep the conversation flowing. This is a very safe
space. So yeah, there’s no there’s no wrong questions. Make sure you

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ask ,and if you do find the chat distracting you can you
can turn that off yourself. If you’ve got some pertinent questions

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for myself or for Mark and if you can use the Q&A function of
Zoom for that pop your questions in there. We’ll have some time at

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the end to answer those specific questions and you can also if you
see someone else’s question and think “oh I want I want an answer to

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that” you can upvote it and then we’ll try and make sure we get to
it. So either pop your question in there or upvote other people’s

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questions and we’ll have some time at the end. We don’t always get through
all the questions at the end, because we often get quite a lot, but

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if we don’t get to your question, don’t worry we will get to it and
we’ll send it in the post-event email, we’ll send all the answers

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across and yeah, no question is a wrong question. And so yeah, please do
ask and if you’d like a certificate of attendance, then after the

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webinar we’ll send a feedback form, and if you fill that out and in
there you can request a certificate, so please make sure you do that.

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And this session is being recorded. You’ll be sent that
recording after the session in the post-event email and

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they’ll be a link on social media too. Brill! So final few bits for
me before we hand over to Mark and we’re going to be at the Dyslexia

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Show at the NEC at the end of next week – gosh that’s crept up! And so if you’re
there then please come and see us. I know neurobox are also

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there. So I don’t know if Mark plans to be there, but yeah come
and say hi and it’s going to be a great event. And finally another

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date for your diary, and the next month’s Skill Sessions is
already being planned and we’re going to be covering, uncovering

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even, reasonable adjustments for neurodiversity in the workplace. And
that’s on Tuesday the 9th of April, but we’ll send all this

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information over to you. So don’t worry about it. So without further
ado, I’m going to hand over to our guest Mark, as I say Mark is the

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head of our occupational delivery at neurobox. For more than a
decade Mark’s been working with organisations, managers, employees, to

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support neurodiversity and disability, and not just how to support
individuals but their managers in the organisations too, so he’s going

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to share some of that knowledge and experience with us as we dive into
all things Access To Work. So over to you Mark! Thank you very much

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Rich. So I’m going to share my screen because unsurprisingly I’ve got
some slides for people. So let me just click the right button there, and

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hopefully everyone can see a big blue slide now. Okay, I’m sure
somebody will tell me if you can’t. So thank you ever so much for

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joining us. It’s really great to be able to talk to so many people
and a little bit scary as well. Okay, so we’re going to have a little

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bit of a dive into this thing called Access To Work today. But before
we do that, Let me just tell you a little bit about myself and the

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organisation I work for so as which said and I work for a company
called neurobox. Essentially, we support organisations to support

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their disabled and neurodivergent people and we do that in a number
of different ways. Generally sort of three kinds of levels in an

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organisation: at the top of an organisation looking at policies and
processes and things like that, on an individual level with employees

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looking at workplace needs, assessments training all that sort of stuff.
But also crucially in the middle working with line managers

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helping the people on the on the front line of policies, if you like,
to actually manage these situations and have these challenging types

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of conversations. So various different levels. Myself, personally, as
Rich said I’ve been in this space now for more than a decade. In

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fact, actually, I think it’s – it’s a little bit more than a decade.
I’m not even going to depress myself by working out the

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numbers, but for a while, and I’ve got a few different hats and I work
with organisations on all of those sorts of levels that we talked

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about before and I will be at the Dyslexia show as well. I’ve been
roped into doing some speaking there too.

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So Access To Work, sometimes known as the governments best kept
secret. Okay, we’re going to have a go at sort of demystifying it a

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little bit today and just sort of answering some of the many many
questions that come up about Access To Work. Questions like “what is

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Access To Work? Is it for me? Does it cost anything?” – all these sorts of
things. So we’re gonna go through this, ask a few

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questions as we go through.

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Any questions that you have that we don’t answer during this or that
we don’t discuss as Rich said, please put them in the Q&A and and

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we will get to them. Okay, we’re going to leave some time after this
as well to go through some too. But let’s kick off a little bit with

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with Access To Work. So let’s start with the basics. What
actually is Access To Work? Access To Work is a government scheme

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public funded grant essentially to support organisations to support
their disabled people and neurodifferent people, in work to stay in

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work. Even to move into self employment and start a business. That’s
something that we see quite a lot of actually, one thing to just

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notice about this though, is that Access To Work isn’t there to help
with business startup costs. It’s to support an individual with their

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needs to start a business if that makes sense. Access To Work has been
around for awhile since 1994. So I want to say so about 10 years now,

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and if anybody tells me it’s nearly 30 years I’m just going to refuse to
listen, alright, cause I’m not that old. It’s administrated and

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managed by the Department for Work and Pensions via the Jobcentre Plus
network. And the idea of Access To Work is that it’s to financially

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support the employee and the employer with some of the adjustments
that people may need as a result of a disability.

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There’s also another string to Access To Work as well, which is this
relatively recent, but there’s a mental health support element to

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Access To Work as well. So if an individual it is off work, worried
about losing a job, just struggling to cope. They do have

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some support mechanisms in place to help in that area as well. So
Access To Work is is a really great scheme. You may have heard lots

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of things about Access To Work, not all of them great. It takes
a long time. There’s lots of hoops to jump through etc. And to a

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degree, that’s all that’s all relatively true. But at the same time
we are one of the very few countries in the world that has such a

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scheme and we are really really lucky to have it and it
works really well when it works. So let’s ask the first question

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that most people want to know is that: am I eligible? And the honest
answer to that is usually yes, if you have a disability or a

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long-term health condition which falls under the definition of
disability, which we’ll look at in a second, and you need adjustments

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you are going to qualify for Access To Work. We also get asked
sometimes well – neurodiversity? Yeah, I’m dyslexic. I’m not

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disabled. Does it apply to me? And again neurodifference, almost
always falls under the definition of disability. Okay, I’m speaking

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of someone who’s dyslexic. I don’t consider myself disabled, if I
have forms to fill out with a tick box that says “Do you have a

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disability?” I never tick that box. I’m not disabled. I’m dyslexic,
but that debate aside, under the terms of the Equality Act, I do meet

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the definition of disability as a neurodifferent person. And that
definition of disability is: if you have a physical or mental

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impairment, and I’m not sure what sort of impairment exists if it’s
not physical or mental, but anyway, if you have a physical or mental

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impairment that has a substantial and long-term negative effect on
your ability to do normal daily activities then you are meeting the

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definition of disability, so neurodiversity falls within that
definition. Okay, and what’s really important to notice is

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that actually this goes for all disabilities not just neuro
differences. But formal diagnosis is not required to fall under the

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definition of disability. Okay, and that’s something that comes up
quite a lot. What does substantial mean? Substantial is an interesting

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one. I looked at one definition of substantial and the definition I
got back was “not insubstantial” which was really helpful. It’s a bit

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gray and fuzzy and purposely so, but essentially it means more than
more than trivial. Okay, long term is easier to do, to determine, long

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term means 12 months. So if your illness, condition, neurodifference
has lasted more than 12 months or is likely to last more than 12

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months, it meets this definition and of course with neurodiversity,
neurodifferences, we’re born with them, they are most definitely

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Long-term. Normal daily activities: going to work is classed as a normal
daily activity. So essentially what we’re saying here is that

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anything that has an effect, a long-term negative effect, on your
ability to go to work will class you as disabled. So things like

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dyslexia, ADHD, etc. will almost always meet the definition of
disability under the Equality Act. So if you do meet that definition

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of disability, you will be eligible for Access To Work support.

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Like with all things in life – there is some small print alright, and
and the small print around this isn’t anything particularly onerous.

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So you need to be 16 or over, not unreasonable, unlikely that you’re
going to be in work if you’re not 16 or over. You need to be in or

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about to start work and this includes being self-employed as well.

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You need to be normally resident in England, Scotland, or Wales, people
from other EU countries are eligible as well as long as they’ve got

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work permits and so on and so forth. But normally you need to be
living in the country. Some benefits can restrict the amount of

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Access To Work you may be eligible for. It’s a bit of a moving
thing. So it’s something that I’m not going to pin figures on or

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anything here, but just be aware that there are certain benefits
that can restrict the amount of Access To Work that you can get.

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Trainees, interns, apprentices are also eligible as long as they’re
part of a recognised scheme. Okay, and funding might be limited if

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you’re regularly traveling outside of the of England, Scotland, and
Wales. So the Access To Work is designed to support people with

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work within England Scotland and Wales. So if you’re somebody
that’s regularly in traveling to the States, for example, as part of

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your role, then your support is unlikely to extend to the time
that you’re abroad. And the final one is specifically for civil

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servants. If you are a civil servant you do not qualify for access to
work. Okay. There are some quite complicated legal reasons why that

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is but that doesn’t mean that support is not available for you. If
you’re a civil servant, support is still there. There are just

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different pathways to access that support. So that’s the small print
and there’s nothing in there that’s particularly onerous or scary or

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unreasonable. I don’t think.

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What type of support is available?

00:19:00.200 –> 00:19:10.500
The Equality Act says that if an employee has a disability then an
organisation is obligated to make reasonable adjustments, and those

00:19:10.500 –> 00:19:22.900
adjustments can be absolutely anything, from flexibility around
start times, through adjustments that cost money, for example bits

00:19:22.900 –> 00:19:31.599
of software or equipment. Now, Access To Work is designed to help
organisations with those adjustments that cost money. So the

00:19:31.599 –> 00:19:45.500
sorts of things Access To Work are looking at funding are things like:
assistive technology, software, equipment, communication support for

00:19:45.500 –> 00:19:54.000
interview. So for example for someone who is perhaps deaf and they
may need a sign language interpreter in an interview for example,

00:19:54.400 –> 00:20:06.700
Access To Work will fund those sorts of things. Adaptations to
premises or to vehicles, travel either to work or in work, and that’s

00:20:06.700 –> 00:20:15.799
something that we see quite a lot, and that is usually for people with
sort of physical restrictions around travel whether that be sort of

00:20:15.799 –> 00:20:24.799
musculoskeletal or whether it be sensory, like someone who’s blind for
example, but it can also be there to support people with some neuro-

00:20:24.799 –> 00:20:33.299
differences. Like for example, autism, who may find it extremely
challenging to catch the rush-hour tube train to get to work on

00:20:33.299 –> 00:20:44.700
time for example. Access To Work will fund alternative ways of
travel. Support workers again, a really really great adjustment for

00:20:44.700 –> 00:20:55.099
some people and support workers can mean all sorts of different
things from somebody who will help, for example, the

00:20:55.099 –> 00:21:05.599
administration side of a person’s role all the way through to someone
who makes support with travel arrangements that sort of thing. And as

00:21:05.599 –> 00:21:13.299
I mentioned before the mental health support services well, which is
a really really important add-on. So those are all the sorts of

00:21:13.299 –> 00:21:22.200
adjustments that we can be looking at with Access To Work. And that’s
just a few examples. There are many many others and Access To Work

00:21:22.200 –> 00:21:30.299
quite good in that they don’t necessarily have a defined catalog of
what they will or won’t look at in my experience they’re quite open to

00:21:30.299 –> 00:21:31.599
exploring different things.

00:21:34.299 –> 00:21:45.200
But as an organisation, how do we determine what is a reasonable
adjustment? And one of the important things that I want to sort of

00:21:45.200 –> 00:21:58.099
mention with regards to Access To Work and and reasonable adjustments
is that Access To Work will advise an organisation on adjustments, but

00:21:58.200 –> 00:22:07.900
only really on adjustments for which they provide funding. There will
be other adjustments that an organisation can make to support an

00:22:07.900 –> 00:22:15.099
individual that don’t cost money or require funding. For
example, as I mentioned before maybe sort of flexibility around

00:22:15.099 –> 00:22:22.700
start/finish times, maybe an allowance to work from home a little
bit more often, those sorts of things. Now, they don’t require funding

00:22:22.700 –> 00:22:34.400
so Access To Work are not going to advise you as an organisation, but
they could be considered. Okay, just to confuse things a little bit, Access

00:22:34.400 –> 00:22:43.400
to work call those types of adjustments, the ones for which they
don’t require funding, they call them reasonable adjustments, but in

00:22:43.400 –> 00:22:52.700
reality any adjustment that is made is a reasonable adjustment.
Okay, so I just want to sort of clarify that because that’s a

00:22:52.700 –> 00:23:01.200
misunderstanding that comes up quite frequently, but with regards to
the word “reasonable” if you are asked for an adjustment by an

00:23:01.200 –> 00:23:09.599
employee, whether that be through a piece of equipment or whether it
may be to work from home a little bit longer than normal. How do you

00:23:09.599 –> 00:23:18.700
as an organisation work out whether that it’s a reasonable request
or not? And the honest answer is it’s really difficult. Okay,

00:23:18.900 –> 00:23:25.200
and it’s going to be different for different organisations and
different roles. But there are a couple of questions that you can ask

00:23:25.200 –> 00:23:33.599
yourself that what might actually help clarify what’s reasonable and
what’s not reasonable, and those questions are first of all, “how much

00:23:33.599 –> 00:23:40.500
of a difference is this adjustment actually going to make to this
person?”. Is it the difference between just making one aspect of the

00:23:40.500 –> 00:23:46.900
job a little bit easier or is it the difference between them being
able to do their job or not. How important is its adjustment to them?

00:23:47.099 –> 00:23:54.299
Secondly, how practical is it going to be to put this into place? Is
it going to mean a major reorganisation or is it just going to be

00:23:54.299 –> 00:24:03.400
slightly inconvenient? The third question, is how affordable is it?
Not how much does it cost, how affordable is it? And that question, the

00:24:03.400 –> 00:24:12.400
threshold for that is it’s obviously fairly low because the chances
are that Access To Work are going to provide some funding for it as

00:24:12.400 –> 00:24:22.799
well. And finally, the final question to ask, is will this adjustment
affect other people’s health and safety? Health and safety overrules

00:24:22.799 –> 00:24:31.200
everything right? So those are four questions that an organisation
can sort of explore to help them make a decision whether or not an

00:24:31.200 –> 00:24:35.299
adjustment may be reasonable or not. Hope that helps.

00:24:37.599 –> 00:24:49.200
Okay. Another question that comes up quite a lot is: Will I have to
pay anything? Now as an employee, the answer is almost always no.

00:24:49.500 –> 00:24:57.900
Okay, if you’re an employee, if you’re self-employed, if you need help
in job interviews, you will not be asked to make any contribution

00:24:58.000 –> 00:25:08.400
whatsoever. And as I put on this slide, the only exception to that is
if you are going to gain some benefit from this adjustment outside

00:25:08.400 –> 00:25:18.299
of work. Okay, personally, I can’t think I’ve ever come across an
instance of that but it’s there, so not unreasonable. So generally

00:25:18.299 –> 00:25:28.500
speaking if you’re an employee, or self-employed, no you do not have
to pay anything at all. What about employers? As an employer will I

00:25:28.500 –> 00:25:39.599
have to pay anything? That’s a little bit more complicated? Okay, but
there are some hard and fast rules. First of all, if the employee

00:25:40.500 –> 00:25:49.099
is new, in other words if they’ve been employed for less than six
weeks when they apply, then as an employer no, there is no

00:25:49.099 –> 00:25:57.799
contribution that you need to make whatsoever. It’s entirely funded,
any adjustments or the recommended, will be entirely funded and there

00:25:57.799 –> 00:26:02.000
is no contribution at all for any of the mental health support

00:26:04.200 –> 00:26:14.900
Outside of that – so if the employee has been employed for more than
six weeks when they apply, you will have to make a contribution as the

00:26:14.900 –> 00:26:28.900
employer and that contribution varies depending on the size of your
organisation. Okay, very very basically, the larger the organisation the

00:26:28.900 –> 00:26:30.599
more you’re expected to pay.

00:26:33.900 –> 00:26:42.599
If you were relatively small organisation and that’s classed as up to
49 employees, then you will be expected to pay the first twenty

00:26:42.599 –> 00:26:51.700
percent of anything that’s recommended. Okay, so if there’s a bit of
software recommended for say, 500 pounds, bit of equipment recommended

00:26:51.700 –> 00:27:03.000
for 1,000 pounds, that’s 1,500 pounds. You’ll be expected to pay 20%
of that which is 300 pounds, Access To Work will pay the rest, and

00:27:03.000 –> 00:27:13.500
there is a ceiling – you won’t be asked to pay any more than 10,000
pounds. Okay by sorting 20% of 10,000 pounds is the ceiling. If you’re

00:27:13.500 –> 00:27:23.099
medium size, fifty to two hundred and forty nine employees, it
goes up to 500 pounds, plus the twenty percent. So the rules are still

00:27:23.099 –> 00:27:34.799
the same, but you’ll also have to pay an additional 500 pounds. A
larger employees 250 plus again exactly the same 20% but you’ll also

00:27:34.799 –> 00:27:45.200
be expected to contribute an additional 1,000 pounds. So the the
logic is, that the larger the organisation the the better the ability

00:27:45.200 –> 00:27:51.099
to make a contribution. So the greater the contribution is expected.
That’s essentially it, okay.

00:27:55.400 –> 00:28:08.500
Now how does this work in practice? So let’s take – you know
what? Let’s take a story. How does Access To Work actually work in

00:28:08.500 –> 00:28:14.700
real life? So we’re going to we’re going to give you a sort of an
example. So I want you to meet Charlie.

00:28:17.099 –> 00:28:30.599
Charlie’s just started a new role. Okay. Now Charlie has suspected
ADHD, but doesn’t have a formal diagnosis. That’s quite normal. As I

00:28:30.599 –> 00:28:40.900
said before a formal diagnosis is not required. Okay, and and there
are many reasons for that but you won’t ever be asked to prove

00:28:40.900 –> 00:28:54.299
disability and that’s really really good because the certain – ADHD
okay in my area of the country at the moment, the waiting list for an

00:28:54.299 –> 00:29:06.500
ADHD diagnosis is currently sitting at five years. Now if I needed
that formal diagnosis in order to get support in my job, I would

00:29:06.500 –> 00:29:16.500
either have to go and fund a private assessment, which by the way is
still likely to take a couple of years, or I’ve got to wait five

00:29:16.500 –> 00:29:25.900
years. So essentially I’ve got to survive five years without any
support before I’m eligible. So it’s a great thing that a formal

00:29:25.900 –> 00:29:36.000
diagnosis is not required. It can sometimes be concerning for
organisations if a formal diagnosis is not required because they

00:29:36.000 –> 00:29:43.200
will ask questions like reasonable questions. Like for example, well
how do I know what the disability is? How do I know if this person is

00:29:43.200 –> 00:29:46.900
dyslexic or if this person has ADHD etc.? Okay,

00:29:49.000 –> 00:29:58.799
and I understand that question. But also at the same time I would
suggest also that actually the diagnosis although really really

00:29:58.799 –> 00:30:08.700
helpful, is not the most important part of this equation. If you have
an employee that is struggling in their role, or with certain aspects

00:30:08.700 –> 00:30:17.000
of the role and there are some things that you can put in place to
support that employee, does it matter what the diagnosis is? Let’s

00:30:17.000 –> 00:30:28.000
look at getting those adjustments in place. Okay, so formal
diagnosis is not required. Let’s say for argument’s sake, that

00:30:28.000 –> 00:30:34.799
Charlie’s on the on the waiting list at the moment for a formal
diagnosis. But at the moment there isn’t one there, but she’s starting

00:30:34.799 –> 00:30:44.099
this new role. Now Charlie is concerned that their ADHD might affect
them in that role and they really really want to do well in this job.

00:30:44.400 –> 00:30:53.299
Okay, Charlie’s new manager has done a great job of welcoming Charlie
in and being supportive and that’s essentially meant that Charlie

00:30:53.299 –> 00:31:06.500
feels comfortable talking to their manager about their ADHD. Now
that’s really really important because without that feeling of safety,

00:31:06.500 –> 00:31:17.400
of security, a new employee is naturally going to be reticent about
stepping forward and saying actually “I need some extra things”.

00:31:17.599 –> 00:31:26.500
Alright, it’s much more likely that that employee is going to stay
quiet and kind of see how things work out. Okay, at least until I

00:31:26.500 –> 00:31:35.700
know the organisation better, I know my manager better and I feel a
little bit more comfortable talking about this stuff. So having that

00:31:35.700 –> 00:31:44.799
safe environment, having that sort of feeling of inclusivity if you
like, is a really really important thing for organisations to

00:31:44.799 –> 00:31:54.400
cultivate. It means that people are more comfortable stepping forward
earlier, and that means I think two really important things. One: it

00:31:54.400 –> 00:32:03.799
means that that employee gets their support earlier. It means that
they’re not going to wait for things to start going wrong before the

00:32:03.799 –> 00:32:12.099
reasons are looked at and support is put in place. It also means that
if that employee applies for Access To Work within the first six

00:32:12.099 –> 00:32:21.700
weeks of their employment, as an organisation, you won’t have to
contribute anything to the funding. So that environment is

00:32:21.700 –> 00:32:34.299
really important. So good work, Charlie’s manager. Okay. Now
Charlie’s manager knows about Access To Work. So he signposts

00:32:34.299 –> 00:32:42.400
Charlie to Access To Work and explains to Charlie what Access To Work
is all about, and suggests that she apply. Now again, this is an

00:32:42.400 –> 00:32:52.500
important point because an organisation can’t apply for access to
work even though the funding exists to help the organisation. The

00:32:52.500 –> 00:33:04.799
application process is owned by the employee. It’s the employee that
applies for Access To Work. And it’s not difficult to do, there’s a

00:33:04.799 –> 00:33:13.299
really great website. If you were to Google or type in Access To Work
into your favourite search engine, the government, the Access To Work

00:33:13.299 –> 00:33:24.000
website is pretty much definitely going to be the first one on the
page and within that website, it’s relatively straightforward. However,

00:33:24.900 –> 00:33:36.900
someone with neurodiversity, filling out forms, starting
processes can be extremely difficult. And the person is likely to

00:33:36.900 –> 00:33:44.000
procrastinate a lot, will begin the process and then be asked a
question they don’t have the answer for go away and never come back.

00:33:44.000 –> 00:33:54.599
So it can be quite a daunting process for people to do. So as an
organisation, as Charlie’s manager if you like, it can be a really

00:33:54.599 –> 00:34:01.099
great thing to actually support that employee through that journey,
through that process.

00:34:03.900 –> 00:34:12.500
But let’s say that Charlie has done this, Charlie’s manager has helped
through the process and Charlie has made that initial application on

00:34:12.500 –> 00:34:24.400
the Access To Work website, which incidentally consists of filling out a
relatively short issue form. The next step is that Access To Work

00:34:24.699 –> 00:34:34.500
will arrange a call with Charlie, a phone call, and it’s essentially
just to go through the form that Charlie’s filled out online,

00:34:34.500 –> 00:34:45.400
just to sort of clarify what’s been put in
the form, double check some information, and at that point a date

00:34:45.400 –> 00:34:59.000
will be agreed for a proper workplace needs assessment. And that
workplace needs assessment will be offered either via telephone, via

00:34:59.199 –> 00:35:11.000
Teams, or Zoom or in person. Okay, traditionally before before the
apocalypse, it was always in person, an Access To Work assessor will

00:35:11.000 –> 00:35:18.699
come out and visit you in your workplace and carry out this
assessment. Nowadays, I think probably it’s fair to say that the vast

00:35:18.699 –> 00:35:31.000
majority of carried out remotely or over the phone. So a date and a
method for this assessment is agreed with Charlie. The next step is

00:35:31.000 –> 00:35:39.699
that the Access To Work assessment actually takes place.
So in Charlie this case, it’s over the telephone. What does an

00:35:39.699 –> 00:35:48.599
assessment look like? So assessments. Access To Work assessments
typically take around 30 minutes, around half an hour. Okay there are

00:35:48.599 –> 00:35:56.199
going to be exceptions to that, some will take longer and so on and so
forth, but typically around half an hour and the assessor is going

00:35:56.199 –> 00:36:07.900
to ask Charlie all about their role. All what their role consists of,
the sort of responsibilities and their duties within that role, even

00:36:07.900 –> 00:36:19.800
down to the depth of what type of applications and computer programs
are you using for your role? The learn about Charlie’s own strengths

00:36:19.800 –> 00:36:28.500
and challenges. And they’ll build a really really sort of detailed
picture of what work at life looks like for Charlie.

00:36:31.099 –> 00:36:43.000
From that, the assessor will then go away and put together a report.
That report will detail everything that the assessor and Charlie spoke

00:36:43.000 –> 00:36:54.000
about and it will make suggestions for adjustments that Access To Work
are prepared to fund and that the assessor believes will support

00:36:54.000 –> 00:37:02.599
Charlie in that role. Okay. And as I said, those sort of
recommendations will look at all sorts of things that we spoke about

00:37:02.599 –> 00:37:15.199
before, that Access To Work fund. Okay, so it might be pieces of
equipment, maybe perhaps some furniture a desk for example, can

00:37:15.199 –> 00:37:27.400
be a really really great adjustment for somebody with ADHD. It may be
training, and that could be awareness training for Charlie’s

00:37:28.000 –> 00:37:36.900
colleagues and manager to help them get a better understanding of
Charlie’s disability and neurodifference. It might be coaching –

00:37:36.900 –> 00:37:47.199
coaching is a really important adjustment for people with
neurodifference. Coaching is where that employee will spend time with

00:37:47.199 –> 00:37:57.300
with a coach, that’s also an expert in that particular disability or
neurodifference, and that coach will work with Charlie, just to help

00:37:57.300 –> 00:38:08.699
develop ways of working, strategies to support Charlie in their role.
The sorts of things that coaching cover can vary immensely

00:38:08.699 –> 00:38:17.099
depending on the individual and the role etc. Workplace
coaching is something I’ve done an awful lot of in my time. I’m

00:38:17.099 –> 00:38:24.900
actually a coaching supervisor these days. I’ve worked with people on
all sorts of things from very very straightforward things – like how

00:38:24.900 –> 00:38:33.800
do I manage the 300 emails I get every day, all the way through to –
had a really interesting once actually which I don’t mind sharing

00:38:33.800 –> 00:38:43.199
quickly. I’ve worked with a library assistant who got coaching
through Access To Work and when we sat down and spoke with her and

00:38:43.199 –> 00:38:52.800
also her manager one of the big difficulties that came forward was
that this particular person was just not getting through their list

00:38:52.800 –> 00:39:02.400
of tasks each day. And this was because they spent way too long
talking to the library users. And we have to explore that, and it

00:39:02.400 –> 00:39:11.400
turned out that the reason for this was that this particular person
just found it very difficult to end conversations. People would come

00:39:11.400 –> 00:39:18.300
into the library looking for a conversation and a chat and she would
stand there for ages talking to them about everything, and she didn’t want

00:39:18.300 –> 00:39:26.599
to be rude by saying that she had things to do. So part of their
coaching, was exploring that and developing strategies and methods for

00:39:26.599 –> 00:39:35.400
how to do that in a way that felt comfortable for them. So coaching can cover
absolutely any aspect of a role which is why it’s very difficult to

00:39:35.400 –> 00:39:44.500
explain exactly what coaching is because it’s very different. But it’s
a really important adjustment that Access To Work fund. Assistive

00:39:44.500 –> 00:39:52.000
technology – another really important thing. There are so many
applications out there and and Rich mentioned a couple that

00:39:52.000 –> 00:39:59.599
CareScribe do, really really important applications that can support
people in all sorts of different aspects of their role and again

00:39:59.599 –> 00:40:09.900
Access To Work will fund these as well. So this report will turn up.
A few days later, optimistically, hopefully, okay and Charlie gets

00:40:09.900 –> 00:40:14.599
that report, that report goes to Charlie. Not the employer. It’s
Charlie’s report.

00:40:17.199 –> 00:40:26.099
And the other thing that this report will also do is that for every
single recommendation every single adjustment that it suggests, it

00:40:26.099 –> 00:40:33.500
will also point you toward an organisation that can provide that
adjustment and an idea of the costing.

00:40:37.300 –> 00:40:48.000
The next thing that happens is that Charlie meets with her manager to
go through this report. Now in this case, the manager agrees to

00:40:48.000 –> 00:40:56.500
implement all of the suggestions that are in that report, but it’s
important to know that an organisation doesn’t have to agree to

00:40:56.500 –> 00:41:07.300
implement all of those suggestions. They are suggestions. The
decision as to whether or not a suggestion / adjustment is reasonable

00:41:07.699 –> 00:41:15.800
or not, is always going to be down to the organisation. It’s always
the organisations right to decide if something is reasonable

00:41:15.800 –> 00:41:24.500
or not. That may well be tested at some other point, but it’s not for
Access To Work to say you’ve got to do this. It’s always going to be

00:41:24.500 –> 00:41:33.400
the employees choice. In this case, the manager agrees to implement
all of the things that are in the report and also discusses with

00:41:33.400 –> 00:41:40.000
Charlie if there’s anything else that the company can do to support.
Another really important thing, because as I mentioned earlier this

00:41:40.000 –> 00:41:48.699
Access To Work report is really only interested in the sorts of
adjustments for which funding is available. Okay, things like

00:41:48.699 –> 00:41:56.000
starting a bit later for example, flexible breaks and so on and so
forth – Access To Work are typically not going to be interested in

00:41:56.099 –> 00:42:02.599
that’s up to you as an organisation to work out. So Charlie
has that conversation with their manager as well and they look at

00:42:02.599 –> 00:42:13.900
other areas of support. So the next step is to actually get this in
place. Now any organisation could go off to all the different

00:42:13.900 –> 00:42:24.400
suppliers that are listed in that Access To Work report, but in
this case Charles organisation decides to just go to one single

00:42:24.400 –> 00:42:34.699
organisation. Okay, somebody like perhaps, neurobots, and source
everything from one supplier, and there’s many many advantages for

00:42:34.699 –> 00:42:42.199
doing this, okay. 1 – if you’re getting everything from one place,
typically, you’re only going to have to deal with one invoice, one

00:42:42.199 –> 00:42:50.599
purchase order, admin costs, and time goes right down, but also there’s
a really good chance that many of these organisations that have been

00:42:50.599 –> 00:42:57.800
recommended to supplies, your organisation will never have worked
with before so there may be some hoops to jump through, around

00:42:57.800 –> 00:43:07.099
creating new accounts, due diligence, and all that sort of thing as
well. Having one single supplier makes that process a lot easier. Also

00:43:07.199 –> 00:43:18.000
from a logistical point of view, and we’ve been asked as providers to
deliver some training on a piece of software that’s been recommended

00:43:18.000 –> 00:43:26.199
but not the software. Okay, that’s great. No problem at all happy to
do that, we’ll agree a training date fantastic. Our trainer will arrive

00:43:26.199 –> 00:43:34.199
all ready to do the training to be told but ah, the software hasn’t
arrived yet. Again, all those sorts of things can be avoided if it’s

00:43:34.199 –> 00:43:40.900
all coming from one supplier. All right. So many many reasons for
single sourcing all of this stuff.

00:43:44.000 –> 00:43:52.199
Another thing that and again, this is something that we get asked to
do an awful lot as a single source supplier, is the support around

00:43:52.199 –> 00:44:02.800
this stuff. A lot of the assistive technology is going to be fairly
new to organisations IT departments. So very often there can be some

00:44:03.199 –> 00:44:12.300
some teething issues around compatibility and installation and things
like that. We’ve probably seen it all before and again, we’re there

00:44:12.300 –> 00:44:16.199
to support with all that side of things as well. So anyway,

00:44:18.699 –> 00:44:28.500
all the items are sourced. They’re all sourced from the single source
supplier, and it all turns up and is installed and implemented

00:44:28.500 –> 00:44:29.400

00:44:31.599 –> 00:44:42.099
Now the organisation at this point, has had to fund all of this. Okay,
they’ve paid for everything up front so far, but now the organisation

00:44:42.099 –> 00:44:53.300
can claim back the funding from Access To Work and they do this
simply by submitting the invoices and receipts, back to access to

00:44:53.300 –> 00:45:01.900
work. Up to a probably a couple of years ago, this was a very manual
process. It had to physically go through the physical post. Okay,

00:45:02.699 –> 00:45:12.300
there is now an online form that the invoices and receipts can be
submitted through, and so this is done, again a process that’s much

00:45:12.300 –> 00:45:21.099
easier if you’ve got one receipt of invoice rather than dozens of
them, but they are submitted up through and the organisation

00:45:21.099 –> 00:45:30.400
receives the funding back from Access To Work that they’re
Due. And as Charlie raised all this and applied early on in her

00:45:30.400 –> 00:45:38.300
employment within the six weeks, actually all of the funding is done.
Had it been a bit later than that, then they would have been granted

00:45:38.699 –> 00:45:50.300
the cost less their expected contribution. So that’s the
process of Access To Work. Okay. It actually does work quite well. One

00:45:50.300 –> 00:45:59.300
of the biggest complaints get about Access To Work is the time things
take and that is a difficulty. It’s got a lot better but it is one of

00:45:59.300 –> 00:46:07.900
the things that comes up, but as I said before, the process itself
isn’t too bad and we are really really lucky as a society that have

00:46:08.000 –> 00:46:17.599
such a thing as Access To Work. I’m just noticing the time. I’ve got
til 1.50 I believe, and I think we’re just about there

00:46:17.599 –> 00:46:29.199
now, so I’m going to finish my slideshow there. And I’m going to hand
back to Rich and and, well, we’ll look at

00:46:29.199 –> 00:46:35.099
some of the questions and and hopefully give you some answers. Okay,
so I’m going to stop sharing my screen at that point.

00:46:38.699 –> 00:46:47.400
Cheers Mark, thank you so much. That was yeah, that was fantastic. I
knew there was going to be lots of interest because well when you

00:46:47.400 –> 00:46:54.199
when you when you have to upgrade your Zoom license cause so many people
are signing up for the webinar, you know, you know that it’s going to

00:46:54.199 –> 00:47:00.199
be an interesting topic and looking at the Q&aA section. I think
we were sort of 10 minutes in and already had sort of 10

00:47:00.199 –> 00:47:10.400
questions. So we’ve got an awful lot of questions to get through, just
setting expectations. We won’t get through them all and please do

00:47:10.400 –> 00:47:19.599
upvote questions, you know that you may want answers to and we can try
and get to those as as a priority. And any questions we haven’t

00:47:19.599 –> 00:47:26.699
answered, don’t worry. We will answer them and we’ll ping
over a long list of questions and answers in the follow-up

00:47:26.699 –> 00:47:35.000
email. So we’ll get to everything. Yeah, really really interesting
questions. Let’s see, if we’ve got some answers. So Mark the top of the

00:47:35.000 –> 00:47:44.800
list and upvoted quite a lot, is “Is an employer legally obliged to make
the adjustments recommended by Access To Work?” somebody’s asked, and

00:47:44.900 –> 00:47:51.400
unfortunately, it’s quite common for staff to get pushback from that
from their managers. Yeah, it is and it’s a good question. It’s an

00:47:51.400 –> 00:47:53.400
important question and the answer is that

00:47:56.400 –> 00:48:08.400
an organisation is legally obliged to make reasonable adjustments.
Okay, but they are allowed to determine what the word reasonable

00:48:08.400 –> 00:48:18.500
means for that organisation. That means that if they think a
recommendation from Access To Work is unreasonable, they can choose

00:48:18.500 –> 00:48:30.699
not to implement it, that’s their right. Now that doesn’t mean the
organization is correct. Okay. Unfortunately, that’s only ever going

00:48:30.699 –> 00:48:41.400
to be tested and challenged in a tribunal. Okay, that’s that’s the
reality of it and there is no – unfortunately, there’s no there’s no

00:48:41.400 –> 00:48:48.300
set bunch of rules that you can put an adjustment through that will tell
you whether or not it’s reasonable or not. It’s always going to be a

00:48:48.300 –> 00:48:59.000
subjective decision and it goes back to those four questions that I
raised earlier on, around what is reasonable and this is one of the biggest

00:48:59.000 –> 00:49:11.300
sort of contentions. Now, I would suggest that if a professional needs
assessor who spends their life doing needs assessments for access to

00:49:11.300 –> 00:49:20.000
work as made a suggestion, you would be a brave organisation to say
that actually “I know better and this is an unreasonable suggestion”.

00:49:20.099 –> 00:49:30.199
You probably need very very sound reasoning to argue that case but it
happens. All right, but in answer to your question, unfortunately, no

00:49:30.199 –> 00:49:37.800
an organisation is not legally obligated to implement it just because
Access To Workers suggested it. They can make a decision that it’s an

00:49:37.800 –> 00:49:45.699
unreasonable adjustment, but at the same time an employee has the
right to challenge that decision in a tribunal.

00:49:47.900 –> 00:49:56.699
Amazing. Thank you Mark. I mean, yeah, and there’s often things that
you know are actually raised in the Q&A section and an

00:49:56.699 –> 00:50:03.900
interesting point, which there’s things that also play into whether
something is reasonable such as you know from a software perspective

00:50:04.099 –> 00:50:12.500
like information security, data protection GDPR. These things are like
really important for, from a security

00:50:12.500 –> 00:50:19.000
perspective in organisations, and it’s going to be more and more so.
That’s one of the

00:50:19.000 –> 00:50:27.900
reasons why the word reasonable is purposefully a little bit gray and
fuzzy, because it has to be subjective in for that organisation with

00:50:27.900 –> 00:50:35.500
the best will in the world, a workplace needs assessor, and I’m
speaking as a workplace needs assessor. We get a very small amount of

00:50:35.500 –> 00:50:45.000
time to have a snapshot of that organisation. We can’t possibly know
the details of an IT infrastructure, of their GDPR policies. Okay,

00:50:45.300 –> 00:50:53.300
we will always make recommendations with a good heart. Okay, we don’t
have the full picture. Which is why it’s important that an

00:50:53.300 –> 00:51:03.000
organisation is allowed to make those decisions. Absolutely. Yeah.
Thanks. Thanks Mark and next question from Lizzie is “Do you know what

00:51:03.000 –> 00:51:12.199
kind of things are available in the mental health support services
category?” A little bit. Yes. I’m not an expert on this branch of

00:51:12.199 –> 00:51:22.800
Access To Work, I have to admit, but they do provide a certain
number of talking therapy sessions. Okay,

00:51:25.500 –> 00:51:37.500
again, most of the sessions and the support they provide tend to be
online sort of web-based support, but for my understanding there is

00:51:37.500 –> 00:51:46.400
some proper talking therapy available. I don’t know how much or how easy
it is to access. Thanks. Thanks Mark. There’s a couple of them, bit of

00:51:46.500 –> 00:51:54.699
chat going on in the chat section as well. So hopefully
if people in the attendees know extra information –

00:51:55.199 –> 00:52:03.599
please pop it in. It’s not an area that I’m particularly well
versed in, on that side of things. Fantastic and next question is

00:52:03.599 –> 00:52:11.199
and there’s a couple of questions, I think that link to this: “Can
somebody and get help from Access To Work for interviews for

00:52:11.199 –> 00:52:17.199
instance if there’s no employer yet?” and I know there’s a couple
of questions around sort of the timing of when you can get access to

00:52:17.199 –> 00:52:24.300
work support, whether you’ve started employment or you’re about to start.
Yeah, good questions, good questions.

00:52:24.300 –> 00:52:34.500
And yes, you can apply for support for interviews. That’s
absolutely quite normal and no problem whatsoever, in terms of

00:52:34.500 –> 00:52:44.599
beginning the application process before you start a job, again that’s
relatively normal as long as you’ve got some proof that you’ve got a

00:52:44.599 –> 00:52:55.400
job – a letter of acceptance and so on and so forth. And again, no
problem whatsoever. Fantastic. Thank you and a an interesting

00:52:55.400 –> 00:53:01.300
question here, and it’s been upvoted “So and I’ve heard that
applying for Access To Work through the Access To Work scheme can have

00:53:01.300 –> 00:53:08.199
negative ramifications later down the line. Is there anything we need
to be aware of that could potentially be negative?”.

00:53:08.199 –> 00:53:10.099
Okay. That’s an interesting question.

00:53:14.099 –> 00:53:21.900
I would be interested in understanding a little bit more about what
those negative connotations may be off the top of my head, I can’t

00:53:21.900 –> 00:53:32.300
think of any other than the fact that asking for support in a
particular organisation may be frowned upon. But that’s more than

00:53:32.300 –> 00:53:40.599
organisational thing and than an Access To Work thing, but I can’t think
of anything specifically related to Access To Work. That’s

00:53:40.599 –> 00:53:47.099
going to come back and bite somebody. Yeah, but I’m happy to sort of
answer again with a bit more information if that’s okay. I think

00:53:47.099 –> 00:53:53.900
that yeah as you say can it comes down to organisational culture and
psychological safety within an organisation more than anything.

00:53:53.900 –> 00:54:00.699
I’d be very surprised and understanding this. That’s a you know
protected conversation within DWP as well from

00:54:00.699 –> 00:54:02.599
A needs assessment perspective.

00:54:06.199 –> 00:54:15.000
Probably the last question I think we will get in before we need to
start to wrap things up. So: “If an employee’s been given a piece of

00:54:15.199 –> 00:54:23.800
tech as part of their grant, and what obligation does the company have
to ensure it can be used on company laptops?”. Yeah again, really

00:54:23.800 –> 00:54:34.099
really good question, because there are compatibility issues and there are other
issues that can render some software, unreasonable adjustments.

00:54:34.199 –> 00:54:42.000
So as you sort of alluded to a moment ago, which there may be some
bits of software that breach of companies GDPR policies for

00:54:42.000 –> 00:54:50.300
example, and again, it comes down to this question of reasonable. And
back to the second question if you like, how practical would it be to

00:54:50.300 –> 00:54:57.500
implement? Well, if it contravenes our policies and our GDPR
policies, and those GDPR policies are reasonable, then it’s an

00:54:57.500 –> 00:55:07.099
unreasonable adjustment. But what I would say is that it’s highly
unlikely that that’s the only software option available, or even the

00:55:07.099 –> 00:55:17.400
only way of addressing that particular difficulty. Okay, just because
one adjustment is impractical or unreasonable doesn’t mean that we

00:55:17.400 –> 00:55:24.900
can’t look at other options that make sense, but just because access
to work have recommended a specific piece of software, but we can’t

00:55:24.900 –> 00:55:34.000
implement it on our systems, that doesn’t mean that that organisation
has to make it work. Brilliant, I’m going to squeeze in one last

00:55:34.000 –> 00:55:39.900
question – make it an easy one, please – it’s
black and white, hopefully, and it came up a few times in the

00:55:39.900 –> 00:55:49.500
chat. “Once you put some equipment in place for Access To Work whose
property is it, is it the employers or the employees?”. Good question.

00:55:49.500 –> 00:56:00.099
Good question. Okay, so the the software or the equipment whatever it
might be belongs to the person that paid for it and that’s the

00:56:00.099 –> 00:56:12.000
organisation. Okay, the funding goes to the organisation. It’s owned
by the organisation. That said, it’s quite normal for

00:56:12.000 –> 00:56:19.599
organisations to just let you have the equipment if and when you
leave or move jobs, okay, certainly in the case of specialist chairs

00:56:19.599 –> 00:56:24.800
or furniture that type of thing and especially if it’s at your home,
they’re unlikely to come out and collect it and take it back if no

00:56:24.800 –> 00:56:30.599
one else is ever going to use it. Software is a little bit different
because there is quite a lot of licensing things to take into

00:56:30.599 –> 00:56:40.599
consideration about transferring licenses. But if you move
jobs you can apply for Access To Work again. Okay, so it’s not that

00:56:40.599 –> 00:56:47.300
you’re not going to get that software anymore. Thank you
so much for that Mark. That was a be a popular question in the chat.

00:56:47.599 –> 00:56:53.699
Well, look, I think it’s it’s time to wrap up, and there is lots of
questions unanswered we will get back to them and thank you so much

00:56:53.699 –> 00:57:02.400
to everybody for joining us participating in the chat.
Every time we do one of these sessions it’s

00:57:02.400 –> 00:57:08.599
fantastic to see the community that we’re building. So thank you
again to everybody for joining and being a part of that and a big

00:57:08.599 –> 00:57:17.099
shout out to Mark. Thanks so much for joining us and imparting all
that wisdom on Access To Work. It’s yeah, as you can see it’s

00:57:17.099 –> 00:57:26.199
certainly been very very popular and lots of people have got a lot of
value out of it. And just to mention you will get the slide deck, we’ll

00:57:26.199 –> 00:57:34.099
answer your questions, and you will get a recording, we’ll send all that
across in emails, and they’ll be also some stuff on social media that

00:57:34.099 –> 00:57:41.699
you can, and you’ll be able to see. Certificates of attendance, again
just fill out that survey link at the end, that feedback link

00:57:41.699 –> 00:57:47.699
and we’ll get you a certificate to say that you were you were here.
And if you want to hear about any of our software or CareScribe then

00:57:47.699 –> 00:57:57.400
please just request a demo, we’ll be happy to oblige. We
do these sessions regularly, we do them every month and and they’re

00:57:57.400 –> 00:58:04.099
going from strength to strength. So if you do want to come and join
us for our next session it is a webinar, so it’s online again. It’s

00:58:04.099 –> 00:58:12.300
the 9th of April. We’ll send you some details. We’ve got Helen Eaton
who’s going to be joining us to cover reasonable adjustments for

00:58:12.300 –> 00:58:19.800
neurodiversity in the workplace, so that follows on really nicely
from this session. So, please do come along come along to that. And

00:58:19.800 –> 00:58:27.699
again, if you at the Dyslexia show come in say hi, well to
myself answer to Mark, and we’re both going to be there as well as our

00:58:27.699 –> 00:58:36.699
teams. So yeah just to say thanks again for coming along. Thank you
for participating and continuing to make these events what they

00:58:36.699 –> 00:58:40.599
are. So thanks so much everybody. And yeah, hopefully see you next