The Committee for Employment & Social Security is currently developing an ‘Access to Work Scheme’ that will provide grants to employees with a disability for certain workplace adjustments.
When the Discrimination Ordinance comes into effect on 1st October 2023 there will be a duty on employers to make reasonable adjustments, including provision of auxiliary aids, to remove any disadvantages or barriers that prevent disabled persons from participating in employment. These adjustments will often be free or low cost but may include things like equipment that has been designed to support those with specific disabilities.
Employers will not have to make such an adjustment if it imposes a ‘disproportionate burden’ (financial or other) on them. The purpose of the Access to Work Scheme will be to fund adjustments that would otherwise not be provided because they would be a disproportionate burden for an employer.
The Scheme will be available no sooner than 1st October 2023. More information on the Scheme and how to apply will be available nearer the time.