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Disability Narratives

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Video clip: Even with support from the Staff Disability Advisor, Liz found applying to the Access to Work scheme very stressful.

Because that's been an absolute nightmare, and one of the biggest stresses. And there were so many stresses around returning to work, and I feel like that added a ridiculous amount of stress. Which was just so unfair, when you're trying to kind of deal with all of the stuff about getting back to work, and starting your job again. And to have a layer of bureaucracy that is, is sort of unnecessary. So. I was told that I wasn't allowed to apply until a week before I was due to start back at work. Which essentially meant that nothing that I needed to have in place for the start of work was in place. So, although the university had done everything it could - The fact is that I couldn't get to work, without taxis. And I couldn't actually do anything at work without support workers. And those were the two things that Access To Work, I was applying to Access To Work for, fundamentally. And so even though they said that a week was enough time, there's no way it's enough time. No way. It's ridiculous.

So the taxis didn't start until I think towards the middle of September. And I didn't get the support workers until last week. And so that has been enormously difficult. So it really does mean that the access to work system, unless you have other things in place, you cannot start work really until at least a month after they think you're starting work. Because they're - there's no way they can get everything in place. The people I dealt with at Access To Work have been lovely. You know, they've been doing everything they can, to kind of get things sorted. But I think they're up against a bureaucracy that is, you know, just slow. Too slow. And I just don't understand why it's a week before that you apply for it.