As a member of the UK Council on Deafness (UKCoD) which has campaigned tirelessly on the Access to Work cap, 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.
We support UKCoD’s view that 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 as a member we are committed to continue to work collaboratively with the DWP with us to monitor the impact of the cap. Through UKCoD, Action on Hearing Loss 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.
Action on Hearing Loss remains committed to monitoring the full impact of the cap at the increased level, and welcome that DWP will also continue to collaborate with the sector to review and monitor how the cap is working in practice.
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Action on Hearing Loss (formerly RNID) is the national charity helping people confronting deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss to live the life they choose. Action on Hearing Loss enables them to take control of their lives and remove the barriers in their way, giving people support and care, developing technology and treatments, and campaigning for equality.