Evaluation of Access to Work - Core Evaluation

Dewson S, Hill D, Meager N, Willison R | Research Report DWPRR 619 | Department for Work and Pensions | Nov 2009

This report presents the findings from qualitative research to evaluate Access to Work (AtW) a programme designed for people with long-term health conditions who need extra practical support to take up work or to do their job.

The report presents an overall evaluation of AtW. Its key findings are:

  • Customers found out about AtW from a number of sources, but in no systematic way. Awareness was low amongst employers and patchy amongst Jobcentre Plus staff.
  • There were high levels of support for the AtW application process and high levels of satisfaction with the assessment process, Business Centres and staff.
  • Customers received a broad range of support from AtW, and customers and employers were happy with the amount and quality of support overall.
  • Customers and employers reported a number of positive impacts related to AtW, including: reduced levels of sickness and absenteeism, provision of a level playing field, saving customers work-related expense, increased well-being and productivity, and improved staff retention.

This evaluation has two other elements:

  • An exploration of the inclusion of AtW within Individual Budget pilot areas.
  • An exploration of the effects of the decision that Ministerial Government Departments (MGD) should pay for their AtW adjustments.