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How to support employees with disabilities, long term health conditions or mental health issues

Guest Blog from Jane Dyer


Supporting your teams

We want to help our clients and other business owners to feel confident when supporting their teams when it comes to physical and mental health so we asked the wonderful Jane Dyer from Tudor Rose Business Services to share her expertise in this area.

If you have employees with a disability, long term health condition or mental health condition, it can sometimes be challenging for them to do aspects of their job, leaving them, and you, feeling overwhelmed.

However, help is available to accommodate your employee’s specific needs in the workplace.


Reasonable Adjustments

If your staff have a disability or long-term health condition requiring adjustments to be made in the workplace, to help them perform at their best, the first thing they should do is speak to their employer/HR about getting a workplace assessment to identify changes that would help improve things for you.

Under the Equality Act employers have a responsibility to make certain changes, known as reasonable adjustments, to ensure employees are not at a disadvantage when doing their job.

These adjustments should also be applied to interviews.

Reasonable adjustments can include:

  • Ensuring the recruitment process is suitable for all candidates and that interviews can be easily attended. These can include ensuring mobility aid users can interview on the ground floor, or computers being available for candidates who have trouble using a pen.

  • Making alterations to equipment to meet the employee’s need – such as a special keyboard for those with arthritis

  • Allowing employees the option to carry out tasks in an alternative way if it helps their health condition. This could include allowing someone with social anxiety disorder to have their own desk rather than hot-desking.

Sometimes employers are unable to make these adjustments and this is where Access to Work comes in.

Access to Work applies to all employees, including trainees, apprentices and contract workers, as well those that are self-employed.


What is Access to Work?

Access to work is an employment support scheme that aims to help more disabled people start or stay in work. It can provide practical and financial support and advice to disabled people to help overcome work-related obstacles resulting from long-term physical or mental health conditions.

The support will ensure all reasonable adjustments are in place to accommodate your individual needs to allow you to do your job to the best of your ability.

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Who can get help?

Anyone aged 16 or over, who lives in England, Scotland or Wales (there is a different system in Northern Ireland) and are disabled, have a mental health condition or a long-term condition that impacts their ability to work is eligible.


What support might I get?

Since the recommendations are tailored to individual needs, there is no set amount for an Access to Work grant. What is awarded depends solely on individual circumstances, however, the grants are capped at £40,800 per year.

The grant money can be used to pay for things like:

  • a support worker or job coach to help your employees in the workplace

  • a support service for employees with a mental health condition and who are absent from work or finding it difficult to work

  • advice on reasonable adjustments and adaptations to the equipment used

  • special equipment

  • fares to work if employees can’t use public transport

  • disability awareness training for staff

  • a communicator at a job interview

  • the cost of moving equipment if employees change location or job

  • help for employers to understand how they can best support staff who are experiencing a mental health condition


Mental health support

One in six workers is dealing with a mental health problem such as anxiety, depression or stress, which can stop you from performing at your best.

Access to Work also provides confidential support and advice from a trained healthcare professional from the Mental Health Support Service.

Specialist advisors provide a support plan with helpful coping strategies and practical advice to assist you in your working role. You don’t need to have a diagnosed condition to use the service.

With the right support, employees with disabilities, long term health conditions or mental health issues can be highly successful in their careers. If you would like to explore how we could help your organization address these challenges and create a more inclusive workplace for all of your staff members, please contact Tudor Rose who can help both employees and employers identify appropriate reasonable adjustments.

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About Jane

Jane is an inspiring woman who has Spina Bifida. A 20-year 9-5 public sector career in education and employment, marriage, mortgage, and 2 adopted children. And then… Jane experienced a period of ill health and grasped an opportunity to ‘retire’.

What next? Yoga, meditation, social life, a degree, retraining as a teaching assistant and divorce. Jane volunteered for a while but found that her new chosen career had a saturated marketplace. She then met her current partner and soon after ventured into being a business owner. Tudor Rose was born in February 2017.

Throughout her life, Jane has demonstrated her resilience and passion for empowering others to reach their potential, despite her own challenges. Today Jane enjoys supporting employers to be health and disability confident and empowering employees to focus on their work goals. Leading by example and bridging the gap between health and work.

Jane specialises in coaching people who have health issues or disabilities, to have the confidence to get their diverse needs met in work, empowered to reach their career goals, and return to work after any period of sickness absence. This also involves working with employers to manage their employee’s wellbeing needs through schemes such as Access to Work. This in turn, encourages employers to recruit and retain such individuals. Jane supports employers in becoming health and disability confident through awareness-raising workshops and advisory audits.