Access to Work, talking to future employer about it — Scope | Disability forum
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Access to Work, talking to future employer about it

JazzieJo
JazzieJo Member Posts: 18 Connected
edited June 2021 in Work and employment
Hi everyone!

So I recently completed my BA course at University this May, and found out today I have secured a job in my field, motion graphics!! I start in two weeks and I was wondering when to apply for Access to Work and how to talk to my employer about it as I haven't told them about my autism yet (High functioning Asperger's). Getting help with travel is all I need support with, it really helped me when I was at university, I got taxis with DSA. But I don't want my employer to think though that I am less capable so I'm wondering if it's worth the risk. Some advice would really help, especially with the Access to Work application process and what they say to employers.

Thanks!
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Comments

  • Ross_Scope
    Ross_Scope Posts: 7,436 Scope online community team
    edited June 2021
    Hello @JazzieJo

    I hope you are doing okay, massive congratulations on securing the job, sounds super.

    You've gone through the application process and clearly impressed them with your capability to do the job, so I can't see them viewing you as less capable if you tell them about your autism. 

    If you need support with travel, it's normally better to have the conversation with work as early as possible, so that you can get the help in place sooner rather than later, because the ATW process can sometimes take a while.

    If your employer isn't overly sure about the benefits of Access to Work, you could direct them to this page on the Scope website that explains all about it, or even this page on the Gov.uk website. It's probably best to consider the kind of support you think you might need before having the conversations, because it will make it easier for your employer to consider, for example you might want to think about what sort of travel you would want assistance  or funding for, which appears to be taxis. 

    You  can apply for ATW online or over the phone, and it just involves answering some questions about the sort of things you might need help with in order to do your job to the best of your ability. You'll normally be assigned an ATW officer and then you'll receive an assessment where they will determine what sort of help you might need. However I find them to be quite receptive to what the claimant wants in terms of support, and willing to take suggestions.
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  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 16,336 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi there 

    Great you have secured the job well done 

    I would highly recommend you discuss this with your employer at the first opportunity si they can support you

    Atw may not fund all the cost just a part of it depends on circumstances 

    Keep us updated on the outcome 
  • MarkM88
    MarkM88 Member Posts: 3,130 Connected
    The staff guide available on the gov website explains how they look at your application and should help you understand what you could be entitled to. 
  • JazzieJo
    JazzieJo Member Posts: 18 Connected
    Hello @JazzieJo

    I hope you are doing okay, massive congratulations on securing the job, sounds super.

    You've gone through the application process and clearly impressed them with your capability to do the job, so I can't see them viewing you as less capable if you tell them about your autism. 

    If you need support with travel, it's normally better to have the conversation with work as early as possible, so that you can get the help in place sooner rather than later, because the ATW process can sometimes take a while.

    If your employer isn't overly sure about the benefits of Access to Work, you could direct them to this page on the Scope website that explains all about it, or even this page on the Gov.uk website. It's probably best to consider the kind of support you think you might need before having the conversations, because it will make it easier for your employer to consider, for example you might want to think about what sort of travel you would want assistance  or funding for, which appears to be taxis. 

    You  can apply for ATW online or over the phone, and it just involves answering some questions about the sort of things you might need help with in order to do your job to the best of your ability. You'll normally be assigned an ATW officer and then you'll receive an assessment where they will determine what sort of help you might need. However I find them to be quite receptive to what the claimant wants in terms of support, and willing to take suggestions.
    Hi thanks for the message, how should I go about telling them? Should I email or call etc? Should ask for HR or a certain department? I really want to do it as casually as possible if you know what I mean, like 'I can't wait to start etc, I live really far away but I don't mind travelling if needed, there happens to be this grant that I might qualify for because I have autism which could help me with travel to and from work' something like that??? Is this too unprofessional??
  • Ross_Scope
    Ross_Scope Posts: 7,436 Scope online community team
    Of course it's not too unprofessional @JazzieJo, not at all. 

    How you approach it will depend on what's most comfortable for you really, would you prefer to start conversations via email or through a phone call? It might be a good idea to send an email which tags in both the HR department and your soon to be line manager, just to ensure that everyone remains in the loop and you have a copy of the correspondence. 

    Unless the company has a team dedicated to handling requests from disabled staff members, then HR is probably your best bet. 
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