Title: Access to Work - Cost benefit analysis; Authors: Duncan Melville, Connor Stevens, Lovedeep Vaid; Publisher: Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion: Published: 2015


RNIB commissioned the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion to carry out a cost benefit analysis of the government's Access to Work scheme. Specifically, the research identified the extent to which money invested by the Government in providing Access to Work support for blind and partially sighted people, and disabled people in general, benefits the wider economy. The findings are based on data and financial figures consistent with the government's own published information.
The report shows that the overall benefits of the Access To Work scheme to society clearly outweigh its costs, and that it is a beneficial form of public spending.

Key findings

  • The overall benefits of ATW to society outweigh its costs by a considerable margin, and that ATW is a beneficial form of public spending.
  • In the year 2013-14, Access to Work supported 35,450 people with disabilities. 14% (5,120) of users were blind or partially sighted.
  • Potential benefits for participants from Access to Work include reduced sickness, improved attendance, retained employment, development of working skills, increased income and better health and well being.
  • Gains for employers from Access to Work consist of improved productivity, lower employee turnover, a better understanding of the needs of disabled staff members and the increased well being of staff.
  • Travel to work provides invaluable support to users, with both employers and employees stating that the travel to work strand is very necessary for the user to continue working. Research has found that travel to work would be the type of support, least likely to continue without public funding.
  • Support workers are equally as valued by users and employers alike, with both believing they provide enormous value within the workplace.