HC Deb 17 September 2003 vol 410 cc756-7W
Mr. Wray

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what measures are in place to ensure that companies provide the necessary access improvements and assistance for disabled employees; and what financial support can be made available for companies to make the changes. [129105]

Maria Eagle

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) requires that employers consider making a 'reasonable adjustment' to premises, working practices, or other aspects of a job, if a disabled employee or job

applicant would otherwise be at a disadvantage compared to someone else. Improved access, or the provision of various types of personal or technological assistance might constitute reasonable adjustments. The Disability Rights Commission (DRC) advises employees, employers and the general public on the law.

Redress for failure to make reasonable adjustments is via Employment Tribunals.

The Access to Work programme provides a grant towards the additional employment costs resulting from disability. Help available can include adaptations to premises, special aids and equipment, help with travel to work, and personal support in the workplace.

Access to Work pays 100 per cent. of the approved costs where an individual is starting a new job, or has been in their job for less than six weeks. It also pays full costs for people in self-employment and where assistance with travel to work, support workers or communicators for job interviews is required.

In all other cases Access to Work meets up to 80 per cent. of costs above a threshold of 300 and below a ceiling of £10,000 and 100 per cent. of costs above £10,000, over a three year period.

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