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Access to Work - practical help at work

Access to Work (NI) can help people with disabilities who wish to take up employment, or who are in work and experience difficulties related to their disability. It can also help employers who wish to recruit or retain people with disabilities in employment.

How can Access to Work (NI) help you

Access to Work (NI) is available to overcome the practical problems caused by disability. It offers advice and help in a flexible way that can be tailored to suit the needs of an individual in a particular job, or getting to and from work.

It can also contribute towards the additional approved costs that arise. Personal and Business benefit are taken into account in all cases. Access to work (NI) can help towards the cost of:

Communication support at interview

  • for deaf people or people who have a hearing impairment and need a communicator with them at interview

Special aids and equipment

  • provision of special equipment to suit particular work needs arising from disability

Adaptations to premises and equipment

  • adaptation in the workplace to facilitate an employee with disabilities

Support workers

  • support can be provided if practical help is needed because of a disability, either at work or getting to and from work

Travel to work

  • support can be provided when a person with a disability incurs extra costs in travelling to and from work because of disability


  • support can be provided to assist employers where other additional costs arise because of disability - for example, extra 'in-work' travel costs, or provision of disability awareness training

More information

If you want more information or wish to apply for assistance through this programme, you should contact an Employment Service Adviser in your local Jobs & Benefits office or JobCentre.


The Access to Work (NI) application must be made by the person with the disability. The Employment Service Adviser will refer the application to an Access to Work (NI) Adviser who will normally visit the place of work and advise on the most cost effective solution.

Help will be approved for as long as it is required up to a maximum of three years. After that, if support is required to continue it will be considered under the rules of the programme in operation at that time.

The Disability Employment Service

The Disability Employment Service (DES) provides support to employers to help them recruit people with health issues or disabilities. And, it enables employers to retain employees who become sick or disabled in their jobs.

DES also helps people who are sick and disabled find employment. It also has an Occupational Psychology Service.

More useful links