£6.4 million boost for employers to support disabled people.

Thousands of businesses across the UK will benefit from a new £6.4 million online service to help employers better support disabled people and those with health conditions in the workplace.

The early test version of the Support with Employee Health and Disability service provides essential information about supporting and managing employees with disabilities or health conditions at work.

Any employer can access the service. It provides free advice on how to manage staff who may be in or out of work with a disability or long-term health condition in a user-friendly online question and answer format.

The service is aimed at smaller businesses many of which do not have in-house HR support or access to an occupational health service.

The new service also covers potential changes an employer could make to help employees return to and stay in work.

Local MP Andrew Jones commented: “It is important that we help disabled people into work. The unemployment rate among disabled people is significantly higher than across the general population. That is why these services are important. My office is a Disability Confident office and so I really do ask that all employers, large and small, have a look at these schemes.”

The site is currently in test mode with businesses and disability groups invited to have their say through a short online survey to help shape the future of the service. Using feedback from the survey the site will be constantly updated and improved over the next three years.