Human Resources

Support & well-being

Access to Work and Dyslexia / SpLDs

Access to Work is a Government designed scheme that provides practical help to overcome the barriers that disabled* people experience in the workplace. You may not define yourself as disabled, however, if you have an impairment that restricts your ability to carry out your job then you may wish to consider this.

Definition of Disability

Disability is defined by the Equality Act as a physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day to day activities. The Acts cover a number of impairments which may not be immediately evident or thought of as disabling, such as heart disease, diabetes, dyslexia and severe disfigurement and some mental illnesses. Where an impairment is controlled, for example by medication, the person is still considered disabled for the purposes of the Acts. Also included are progressive conditions, where the impairment may become substantial, such as some forms of cancer, multiple sclerosis and HIV infection. 

* Special Learning Difficulties

The Government will either pay for, or make a substantial grant towards the costs of additional support needed as a result of an impairment or disability.

Formal evidence of dyslexia/ SpLD is not required, although if screening results or other documentary evidence is available they would find this useful.

If the difficulties and/or support measures required are clear, an Educational Psychologist’s Assessment, (EPA), would probably not be seen as necessary.

  1. Adaptations to premises and equipment
  2. Special aids to employment
  3. Support workers
  4. Travel to work- for extra costs in travelling to and from work
  5. Communication support at interview
  6. Miscellaneous - for 'one-off' items
  7. The Nottingham Regional Access to Work Team does not usually fund Optometrist’s assessment. However, this has not been ruled out. There would need to be good work-related evidence of the need for it.

Previously Access to Work has funded proofreaders and Study Support, where the need is clear in relation to the current job.

  • New employees - 100% of identified costs of all elements

Important: You must apply within 6 weeks of commencing work.

  • People changing jobs - 100% of identified costs of all elements
  • UK residents – Can apply but they would consider someone who was on a 2 year contract in Britain, for example.
  • Current staff - Employers are able to use the new government Tech Fund  which may pay 100% of the costs of assistive technology for newly employed disabled employee (less than 6 weeks in employment).If the employee has been working for the University for more than six weeks then the University may have to share the costs on special aids and equipment, and  adaptations to premises or equipment with the Access to Work Scheme. As the University employs over 250 staff, it will have to pay the first £1,000 and then 20% of the costs up to £10,000 with Access to Work funding the 80%.Any costs above £10,000 will normally be met by Access to Work. A cap on grants from the Scheme is set at £57,200 until 31st March 2019. Each year a new cap is set by the government.

It is best to notify your manager as soon as possible that you are applying, especially if they are required to make a financial contribution.

It is important to apply as soon as possible as Access to Work will not fund retrospectively.

For more information on how to proceed with an application contact your HR Partner or the Occupational Health Adviser.

The easiest way to do this is to phone the local office, based in Nottingham. An administrator will take your contact details, including National Insurance number, and then an adviser will make contact with you within a few days. Often much of the assessment can be done by phone, but Access to Work assessors also make site visits, especially if ergonomic issues are involved. They will also talk to Line Managers and get Human Resources involved if required.

Please click on the next heading to access information on the Government’s Access to Work Scheme.