DWP has announced that, from 1 April 2019, people will now be able to claim up to £59,200 annually to help pay for additional support that they may need in the workplace through the government’s Access to Work scheme. This can include workplace adaptations, assistive technology, transport and interpreters.

It comes after the government increased the cap by almost a third last year. Now, even more people will be able to benefit, especially those from the deaf community who can get BSL interpreters through the scheme.

BASE member, The Castle School, welcomed OFSTED recently for a one day inspection with the outcome being that they remain Outstanding. The Castle School in Newbury was awarded the Team of the Year Award by BASE in 2017.

One of the key lines of enquiry was how the curriculum supported students appropriately to prepare them for adulthood which included an employment focus. 

In the report, OFSTED wrote:

Lincolnshire County Council wishes to commission a Supported Employment service that will help people with a learning disability and autism that are known to Adult Care and Community Wellbeing Services to experience work and retain paid employment. This service will be known as the Specialist Tailored Employment Partnership.

The Government Equalities Office is launching Round 3 of the Returners Fund. Building on Rounds 1 and 2, Round 3 will distribute up to £500,000 via grants to support organisations to run projects aimed at Returners from marginalised groups who face the greatest disadvantages in returning to the work place.

As with the previous rounds, this Fund will only support projects that will focus solely on Returners as per the definition below:

The Careers and Enterprise Company, an employer-led and government-backed organisation that aims to increase employer engagement with young people, has announced that two-fifths of its £4.2 million annual fund will be targeted at programmes supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), looked-after children and care leavers, and young people from gypsy, Roma and traveller backgrounds.

A report published by Demos suggests that Ministers should consider abolishing the Department for Work and Pensions after its failure to help ill and disabled people out of poverty. The Pathways from Poverty report suggests that most of the department's work could be carried out more effectively by other Whitehall ministries.

A new Wildgoose workplace survey has shown that over 50 percent of UK employees surveyed feel disability inclusion is most important inclusion issue that should be tackled in their workplace.

62% of discriminatory queries at The Equality Advisory Support Service (EASS) are about disability and the Wildgoose survey demonstrates that employers are not doing enough to be inclusive to those with a disability.

Mencap would like to invite people with a learning disability to take part in the first national survey of people with a learning disability in 15 years!

The survey is the chance for people with a learning disability to share their experiences. It was fully co-produced by people with a learning disability, and asks questions on topics they say are important to them, including health, relationships, employment and inclusion.

NHS England has published a new 10-year plan for development of the service. The plan includes actions to encourage improved employment rates.


The BASE office will close on Thursday 20 December and reopen on Wednesday 2 January 2019.

Emails will be checked periodically over the holidays so please email us at with any urgent matters.

BASE would like to wish our members and friends a Merry Christmas and a successful 2019.