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Posts Tagged ‘Access to Work’

21 MarA Message from UK Council on Deafness Chair, Craig Crowley

Craig CrowleyFor a number of years the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has been seeking to reduce the expenditure of its Access to Work Programme in order to safeguard public resources.

In 2015 the DWP set a budget cap of £43,100 (1.5 times average earnings) for an individual Deaf person using Sign Language Interpreters, which was to come in to final force on the 1st of April 2018.

UKCoD has been in discussions with the DWP highlighting the effects of the reduction in expenditure, particularly a cap on the ATW funding for individuals.  UKCoD has articulated that this limit would prevent Deaf individuals reaching the pinnacle of their profession and would stifle the aspirations of younger Deaf people.

The sterling support from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Deafness led by Jim Fitzpatrick MP, the excellent work of Darren Townsend-Handscomb, DeafAtW, the Employment Sub-Group and a number of prominent Deaf individuals (one of such is Toby Burton, Chief Finance Officer for The Economist), has paved the way for the Minister of Disabled people, Sarah Newton MP, to announce that the Government will increase the cap of ATW funding per individual to £57,200 (double average earnings).

The UKCoD Board of Trustees are delighted with this announcement and we look forward to future discussions with the government, through the APPG, about the many issues that affect the lives of Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deafened and Deafblind people every day.

Sarah Newton MP Statement [pdf]

UKCoD Press Release

21 MarPress Release

We are pleased to see that the Department of Work and Pensions has decided to significantly raise the Access to Work cap. This will help deaf people whose first language is British Sign Language (BSL) to access the communication support so vital to enabling them to thrive and succeed in the workplace.

The increase in the cap to £57,200 from April 2018 means that many more people will no longer face restrictions that impact their ability to carry out their jobs. We welcome this development which will reduce the barriers people face when accessing vital support to work, but we believe it is important to continue to monitor the impact of the cap on those with highest needs.

We welcome the ongoing engagement that the DWP has had with the sector through the UK Council on Deafness and DWP’s commitment to work collaboratively with us to monitor the impact of the cap. We will work with Access to Work’s specialist team as it seeks to coproduce tailored workplace assessments, and to improve its advice to Deaf people and employers, including on the appropriate use of technology, and we are committed to continue working with the Department to explore how this scheme can work for all.

 

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06 FebMeeting with Sarah Newton MP

Minister of State for Disabled People, Work and Health

– Cap on Access to Work Awards

Sarah Newton MPThe UK Council on Deafness and the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Deafness have held a positive meeting with the Minister for Disabled People, Sarah Newton MP, to discuss the cap on Access to Work awards.  The Minister described Access to Work as a fantastic scheme and indicated the Government desire to see it grow from year-to-year. She acknowledge that there were concerns around the cap and welcomed the meeting as a chance to hear the evidence from those affected.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP, Chair of the APPG, welcomed the meeting as a chance to re-open the dialogue with the Minister and highlighted the cross-party desire to re-establish the ability for Access to Work to support people at work whatever their work access needs. Stephen Lloyd, Vice-Chair of the APPG, notes the high unemployment rate which existed within the BSL community and said that there is an absence of role models for young deaf people. He argued that imposing a cap on Access to Work had the potential to knock the deaf community back and remove fifty years of progress. Read more of this article

22 NovMeeting with Sarah Newton, Minister for Disability

UKCoD and the APPG on Deafness will be meeting with Sarah Newton 29th January 2018

The APPG and UKCoD are meeting with Sarah Newton, the new Minister for Disabilityhttps://www.gov.uk/government/people/sarah-newton, on 29th January 2018 to discuss the cap to ATW awards.

Jim Fitzpatrick (APPG Chair), Craig Crowley (UKCoD Chair, affected by the cap April ’18), Toby Burton (who will be affected by the cap in April ’18) and I (as Chair of the UKCoD Employment group), will be attending.  There may be other people attending, this is to be confirmed.

We have sent Sarah Newton the results of the DeafATW survey about the cap, and case studies about how the cap is already affecting Deaf people.

 

12 SepAPPG on Deafness

The APPG on Deafness held its AGM last Tuesday, 5th September and re-register as an APPG following the general election.

We are delighted to announce that at this meeting, Jim Fitzpatrick MP (Labour, Polar and Limehouse) was reappointed unopposed as Chair of the Group.  Full details of appointed officers can be found at http://deafcouncil.org.uk/about-us/party-parliamentary-group-deafness/

APPG

During the AGM a good discussion took place on Access to Work and BSL Language recognition.  The minutes of the meeting and previous meetings can be viewed at http://deafcouncil.org.uk/policy-and-campaigns/meetings/ or here:

APPG on Deafness Minutes [PDF]

Note:  
A survey on the AtW cap has been created, details of which can be found here.  The All Party Parliamentary Group on Deafness (APPG) and UK Council on Deafness (UKCoD) are supporting this survey. We need to gather further evidence on the ATW cap before engaging with the Minister for the Disabled (Penny Morduant MP) and the Department of Work and Pensions.

IMPORTANT: The survey needs to be completed before Friday 22nd September 2017