How are changes to Access to Work affecting Civil Servants?

From April 2022, the Access to Work eligibility is changing for civil servants throughout the UK. Civil servants were previously eligible for the holistic assessment service provided by Access to Work. However recent changes have been introduced that now mean each individual department will take over the responsibility for providing this service. With just over 450,000 civil servants in the UK, this is a significant change and presents a new challenge with regards to how staff are to be supported in the workplace moving forwards.

The changes are a result of confusion over eligibility for the Access to Work scheme, with some government departments being ineligible for support. Therefore the decision was made to eliminate this confusion by asking each department to provide assessments and adjustments from the 1st April 2022.

A new flexible cross-government occupational health framework has been introduced to support this change. However, assessments and reasonable adjustments can still be provided privately to further support this change.

Who does this affect?

Clients currently receiving Access to Work funding do not need to do anything until their current award ends. However, if this funding ends after the 31st March or a new application is made after the 31st March then Access to Work funding cannot be applied for.

This change will affect all civil servants who were previously eligible for the Access to Work scheme, previous departments not eligible for this support include the Department of Work and Pensions.

How can we help?

As we recognise that workplace needs assessments will still be required, we are offering the service privately as opposed to through the normal Access to Work channel/process. Due to this, clients will benefit from a faster lead time and a provider that can undertake the assessments and also provide the reasonable adjustments that follow – essentially making us a one-stop-shop for any assessment and reasonable adjustments that are required. Our team of qualified psychologists have been providing this service on behalf of Access to Work, so you can be sure that there will be no drop in the quality and level of support you will receive.

How does the private process work?

Booking a private assessment could not be easier. The previous Access to Work process was naturally longer as it involved the funding application. However, assessments can now be booked and undertaken within 7 working days. These can either be undertaken in person or remotely to ensure every client can be reached given the current global circumstance.

Once an assessment has been undertaken you will receive a report of reasonable adjustments that will need to be implemented. These reasonable adjustments can take the form of many solutions, from work-based training packages right through to ergonomic support or assistive technology. As a provider of these services, all reasonable adjustments can be purchased privately through ourselves, streamlining the process for a quick and easy turnaround.

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