A gentle reminder that the above consultation closes this Friday, 17th February 2017, details of which are below as circulated by the DWP:-
[As you may be aware DWP & DH currently have an open consultation on Work, Health & Disability. Many of you have a longstanding interest in Access to Work, and whilst AtW is not a new scheme and is not being consulted on explicitly, as this consultation will close next Friday, I wanted to remind you of it and perhaps draw your attention to one or two areas that I think you might be interested in commenting on.
https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/work-health-and-disability-improving-lives/work-health-and-disability-green-paper-improving-lives Paragraph 168 discusses the idea of a one-stop-shop. This has clear potential in raising the profile of AtW within this and exposing it more widely as well as bringing it together with other services to help with cross-referrals and marketing. As with all such policy initiatives, undertaking such work requires a business case identifying demand and user need. If you do think such an initiative is of value then the consultation provides an opportunity to lend weight to the evidence base.
On the back of the opportunity afforded by responding to paragraph 168, in Question 8.3
“Which measures would best support employers to recruit and retain the talent of disabled people and people with health conditions? Please consider…”
(c) What role could a ‘one stop shop’ play to overcome the barriers?
….. there is potentially an opportunity to expand on your response by commenting on the new AtW online service – are there any features that you would like to see added (eg Save & return…change of circumstances….online invoicing etc). Question 9.1 invites responses on existing schemes like AtW “How can existing government support be reformed to better support the recruitment and retention of disabled people and people with health conditions?”
Finally, several people have said they would like the Access to Work overview and application pages above to also include links down the side to expand on the other sources of information (“Elsewhere on gov.uk”) such as our customer & employer fact sheets & complaints process (and of course the latter simultaneously expanded to field an AtW entry) below in order to provide more detailed information to applicants but which is probably too detailed for the high level pages Governmental Digital Service needs evidence of customer demand in order to make these changes so if you would like those links to be added please say so.
As you know, we have a genuine desire to work with stakeholders to continually improve the programme, and I personally really value the relations and information exchanges we have built in respect of AtW. This offers an unrivalled chance to help build the case for suggestions that many of you have in fact provided in previous conversations. If you think these examples (or any other ideas) would be helpful then please use the window of opportunity provided by the Green Paper to build the evidence base to develop and improve AtW and other initiatives.
Many thanks in anticipation and for your continued engagement.
Full details here:
Please feel free to forward to other colleagues or contacts as a reminder, thank you.