Stop Changes to Access to Work Campaign

StopChanges2AtW – cases closed for workers on furlough & evidence needed for campaign

Last week, campaigners became aware that from 14 August Access to Work (AtW) was closing cases for Deaf and disabled workers still on furlough. What this means is that when furlough ends, any workers who need AtW to returnto work will have to re-apply for their support package. This will increase the burden on Deaf and disabled workers on top of the many other barriers they face to staying in employment. There is no obvious reason why the Department for Work and Pensions shouldhave to close rather than pause their furloughed caseload. We can only assume this is a cynical attempt to save money by making it more difficult for workers to claim support from AtW in the hopes that some will simply give up. Once again, we see the governmentstacking the decks against Deaf and disabled workers and exposing the emptiness of their rhetoric about wanting to help Deaf and disabled people into employment.

This is also just the latest example of problems with AtW that have been experienced since Covid-19 outbreak and lockdown.

StopChanges2AtW wants to hear any and all examples of difficulties with AtW since 1st March 2020 that you've experienced since early March 2020. These could have negatively affected Deaf and disabled workers as wellas interpreters or Personal Assistants paid through AtW.

Please email or send BSL videos to:

We will keep all examples we receive anonymous and use them to produce a mini report which we can use to raise awareness of the types of problems people have faced and to campaign for improvements.

Please note we have also done a BSL version that's on our website.

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HEAR Equality and Human Rights Network

HEAR Equality and Human Rights Network is a network of voluntary and community sector organisations across London working for equality, rights and social justice and against discrimination. We are currently funded by City Bridge Trust, Trust for London and the National Lottery.

Under our Bridging Divides funding we work to ensure that specialist equality and human rights groups, particularly the smaller and user led ones, and the Londoners they work with, can connect and work together across London and across equality specialisms. With our members we work to make equality issues central in local and regional decision making, and to raise awareness and work more closely with universities, think tanks, professional bodies and business. This funding also supports our core activities as a network: regular bulletins and information provision, knowledge sharing, signposting, website and networking.

The Trust for London project funds our Policy and Campaigns work, which supports organisations to campaign together on equality and rights issues of joint importance. Currently campaigns are focused around support for Deaf and disabled refugees and asylum seekers, hate crime, mental health equality, LGBTQI+ diversity and Digital Exclusion. We lead for Disabled customers on the National Asylum Stakeholder Forum Equality Sub-Group, who work alongside the Home Office to ensure the rights of asylum seekers are protected, and facilitate Charities Challenging Hate Crime, the London pan equality hate crime network.

In the NetEquality project, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund Reaching Communities, through the Cornerstone Fund, dozens of smaller user-led and ‘grass roots’ equality groups and equality partners in London are working together. Over an initial two years, to mid 2021, we will design, test and pilot exciting new ways to use networking and online tools to strengthen our connections and quickly and easily share information and knowledge. We will be exploring ways to join up our voices for solidarity and influence and for more coordinated, effective campaigning to fight discrimination and improve equality in London. Through Stronger Together, funded by Awards for All, we provide activities and support for individual campaigners and those in the smaller, user-led and grass roots groups.
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