Admin and More, a Kettering-based business specializing in virtual Personal Assistant (PA) services, applauds the move towards digitisation in the Department for Work and Pensions, enabling online claims for Access to Work grants from April 2024.
However, the founder, Elizabeth Wright, emphasizes the critical need for urgent attention to clear the backlog of Access to Work payments.
Wright highlights a critical juncture in addressing the balance between supply and demand within the Access to Work programme. The disability employment rate, as reported by gov.uk from July to September 2022, declined while the non-disabled employment rate rose. Additionally, a November 2023 report by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) revealed a concerning “pay gap.”
Impact on Businesses: Cashflow Crisis
Access to Work plays a pivotal role in rectifying this situation, facilitating the integration of disabled employees into the workforce and offering financial support to their employers. However, the system is grappling to keep up, resulting in delayed payments. Elizabeth stresses the strain on employers who lack the necessary skills, time, or resources to process these claims without external support.
The high demand for Access to Work services has led to a surge in activity within Admin and More’s Access to Work division. While they efficiently process claims and payments on behalf of employers and employees, the founder notes a growing concern among suppliers and employers losing confidence due to delays. The potential cashflow crisis arising from delayed funds poses challenges for businesses, particularly in meeting payroll commitments.
Elizabeth expresses her concern that continued delays might erode employers’ confidence in the Access to Work programme, emphasizing the profound positive impact it can have on individuals’ lives.
Admin and More’s “Empowerability” Initiative
Admin and More, known for offering comprehensive virtual PA support nationwide, has launched the “Empowerability” initiative at the beginning of this year. The initiative aims to raise £200,000 to foster a more inclusive workforce by providing meaningful work placements for individuals with disabilities.
Elizabeth believes that “Empowerability” holds the potential to transform lives and reshape the cultural landscape of workplaces in the UK. As a pilot project, it will operate from Admin and More’s new Kettering headquarters. Successful outcomes will prompt Elizabeth to expand the initiative across the country, collaborating with more businesses and opening additional offices.
Elizabeth concludes with a clear mission: to create a more inclusive workforce, not just by securing jobs for individuals with disabilities, but by ensuring they have meaningful careers where they can flourish, contribute significantly to the country’s growth, and prosper in their professional journeys. The focus remains on fostering a positive and supportive environment for all.