Evaluation of Access to Work published

January 21, 2010

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has published three reports presenting the findings from qualitative research to evaluate the Government’s Access to Work scheme. Access to Work provides advice and financial resources to support adaptations for disabled people at work. These studies used interviews with Access to Work customers and a range of stakeholders to evaluate the scheme.

The three reports are:

* an overall evaluation of Access to Work – the core evaluation

* the inclusion of Access to Work within Individual Budget pilot areas

* an exploration of the effects of the decision that Ministerial Government Departments (MGD) should pay for their Access to Work adjustments

Some key findings from the core evaluation report are as follows:

* customers found out about Access to Work from a number of sources but in no systematic way. Awareness was low amongst employers and patchy amongst Jobcentre Plus staff

* there were high levels of support for the Access to Work application process and high levels of satisfaction with the assessment process, Business Centres and staff

* customers received a broad range of support from Access to Work and customers and employers were happy with the amount and quality of support overall

* customers and employers reported a number of positive impacts related to AtW including: reduced levels of sickness and absenteeism, provision of a level playing field, saving customers work-related expense, increased well-being and productivity, and improved staff retention