Press release

Boost for disabled people to fulfil their career aspirations

Latest figures show over 2,000 more disabled people got the support they needed to get or keep their job, compared with this time last year.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Over 2,000 more disabled people got the support they needed to get or keep their job, compared with this time last year, official figures released today (22 October 2013) show.

22,760 people were being supported through Access to Work between April and June this year – an increase of 10% on the same period last year.

Access to Work provides financial help towards the extra costs faced by disabled people at work, such as support workers, specialist aids and equipment and travel to work support.

Minister of State for Disabled People Mike Penning said:

Access to Work offers unique and tailored help so that disabled people can have the same choice of jobs as everyone else – in every sector, from hairdressing to engineering and everything in between.

This is about supporting disabled people to fulfil their aspirations in the workplace. I would urge disabled people who are looking for work, or need more support to stay in their job, to find out how this scheme can help them.

Access to Work supported 31,400 disabled people to keep or get employment last year and the recent set of statistics show the highest level of new claims since 2007 – with 10,390 new applications. More people with mental health conditions than ever before have been supported at or into work through the scheme.

A digital marketing campaign by DWP to raise awareness of the scheme has seen an almost 80% increase in the number of people looking for more information on how to claim the support.

Young disabled people can now get support through Access to Work whilst undertaking Youth Contract Work Experience or participating in a Supported Internship or Traineeship.

Businesses with up to 49 employees no longer pay a contribution towards the extra costs faced by disabled people in work – saving them up to £2,300 per employee who uses the fund.

More information

Disabled people can get support through Access to Work when setting up their own business if they are enrolled on the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA). The NEA provides expert coaching and financial support for jobseekers with a business idea.

The employment rates for disabled people have increased gradually over the years from 44.5% in 2002 to 48.9% in 2012. However, there remains a gap of almost 30% between the employment rate of disabled and non-disabled people. If disabled people’s employment rate matched that of the rest of the population an extra 2 million disabled people would be in work.

The government recently hosted the first Disability Employment Conference, which was attended by more than 300 employees, including 35 FTSE100 companies and disability organisations to tackle attitudes within the workplace which could prevent disabled people from fulfilling their potential.

Read the full statistical summary

Read about the DisabilityConfident campaign for employers

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Published 22 October 2013