Workplace Equipment Adaptation Grant

The Workplace Equipment Adaptation Grant (WEAG) is a grant for people with a disability who work in the private sector. Public sector employers must facilitate staff with disabilities by making assistive technology, adaptive equipment and facilities, aids and appliances available. They must cover the costs of this themselves.

Cork Occupational Therapy Students can assist you in completing the assessment and report to access this grant.

Employers and self-employed people can apply for the grant towards the cost of adapting the workplace or making it more accessible for staff with disabilities.

The grant is provided by the Department of Social Protection.

The grant be used towards the cost of:

  • Adapting or buying equipment
  • Upgrading adapted equipment which was funded previously
  • Training people so they use the equipment The maximum grant is €6,350. This is available towards the cost of adapting or purchasing equipment. This grant can also be used to upgrade adapted equipment which was funded previously, and for training people so they use the equipment.

Employee Retention Grant Scheme

The Employee Retention Grant Scheme is a scheme that aims to assist employers to retain employees who acquire an illness, condition or impairment that affects their ability to carry out their job. The scheme is part of the Department of Social Protection’s Reasonable Accommodation Fund and it aims to maintain your employability by providing funding to:

  • Retrain you so that you can take up another position within the company
  • Identify accommodation such as work equipment adaptation and/or training to enable you to remain in your current position.

Cork Occupational Therapy Services Ltd. can complete the functional capacity evaluation of your employee, the demands analysis of the job, identify and recommend a plan of action.

Wage Subsidy Scheme to employ people with disabilities

The Wage Subsidy Scheme gives financial support to employers who employ people with disabilities. The scheme is a workplace support for employers from the Department of Social Protection (DSP).

It is illegal to discriminate against an employee on the basis of disability and this right is set down in employment equality legislation.

However, it is permitted to discriminate on the grounds of disability where it can be shown that “there is clear actuarial or other evidence that significantly increased costs would result, if the discrimination were not permitted.”

Sometimes a disability can restrict an employee’s productivity compared to other staff, irrespective of their ability to do a job. If this restriction results in a loss of productivity, the Wage Subsidy Scheme (WSS) makes up the shortfall directly to the employer (who pays the employee as usual).

The Scheme is available to private sector employers in the State who can provide between 21 and 39 hours of employment per week to workers with a disability.

Cork Occupational Therapy Services Ltd. can assist in processing this application and support both the employer and employee in the negotiation with the Department of Social Protection.

Disability Awareness Support Scheme

Employers in the private sector that provide disability training for their staff can apply for a grant of up to €20,000 as part of the Disability Awareness Support Scheme. The scheme is funded under the Department of Social Protection’s Reasonable Accommodation Fund.

Disability awareness training can help to:

  • Improve the way employers and employees support their colleagues with disabilities
  • Promote the employability and promotion of people with disabilities
  • Create open and welcoming work environments
  • Address any misunderstandings about disabilities in the workplace
  • Improve customer service for consumers or clients with disabilities
  • Support equality in the workplace and eliminate discrimination.

During disability awareness training, employees can develop a better understanding of the key issues regarding disabilities in the workforce. Training should provide specific information on:

  • Anti-discrimination and equal opportunities legislation
  • Different disabilities and abilities, including mobility issues and sensory issues, such as blindness or deafness
  • Appropriate language and behaviour
  • How to deal with mental health issues in the workplace

Employers are encouraged to offer this training, as set out in the Employment Equality Acts 1998-2015 and the Equal Status Acts 2000-2015.

Cork Occupational Therapy Services Ltd have a proven track record in providing training in this area. They are also experienced in teaching at third level and have achieved awards for their teaching in this area.