Evaluation of Access to Work - Individual Budget Pilot Strand

Aston J | Research Report DWPRR 620 | 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 explores the inclusion of AtW within Individual Budget (IB) pilot areas. Its key findings are:

  • IBs were viewed in a positive light by all staff.
  • Take up of AtW alongside IBs was extremely low. Within this study, it was not possible to interview anyone who had received both AtW and an IB, and so it was not possible to explore this from a service-user perspective. It also appeared that AtW may not fit particularly well with IBs as service-users were not at the stage of finding work.
  • There was limited staff recall of the employment materials, but on reminding views were positive and easy-read versions were preferred. Service-users found the material interesting and useful.
  • There had been little impact as a result of the employment option, aside from some awareness-raising amongst staff on some of the employment support programmes on offer for service-users. However, this was seen, in principle, to be a positive step towards providing more information and greater choice to service-users, and in promoting independence.

The evaluation has two other elements:

  • An overall evaluation of Access to Work (AtW) (the core evaluation).
  • An exploration of the effects of the decision that Ministerial Government Departments (MGD) should pay for their AtW adjustments.