In a progressive move by the Committee for Employment & Social Security, the launch of the Access to Work Scheme is a commendable initiative aimed at fostering an inclusive and diverse workforce in Guernsey, Herm, and Jethou. We are proud to express our wholehearted support for this forward-thinking scheme, which not only aligns with the goals of the Prevention of Discrimination Ordinance but also has the potential to drive economic growth in the region.

Why The Scheme Matters

With the enacting of the Prevention of Discrimination Ordinance on 1st October 2023, employers across our islands have  a responsibility to ensuring that their workplaces are accommodating for all, regardless of their physical or cognitive abilities.

Adjustments in workplaces are crucial. They can make the difference between a disabled individual participating actively in the workforce or being relegated to the sidelines. It is about more than mere compliance; it’s about celebrating diversity, reaping the benefits of a varied workforce, and recognising that equal opportunity sometimes demands different things.

However, we recognise that not all businesses, especially our small local enterprises, have the resources to make such adjustments without financial strain.

Bridging the Financial Gap

This is where the Access to Work Scheme comes in as a bridge. By providing grants up to £5,000 per person annually to help cover the costs of essential aids, equipment, or software, it lightens the financial burden on smaller businesses while ensuring that their  employees can work comfortably and productively.

The Benefits are Clear

Deputy Lindsay de Sausmarez aptly captures the essence of the scheme when she mentions its potential to “increase workforce participation by enabling disabled people to enter, remain in, and return to employment.” For businesses, this means access to a wider pool of talent and the possibility of improved retention rates. For the economy, increased workforce participation translates to higher earning potentials and reduced dependencies on state support.

Taking the Next Steps

Employees should approach their employers regarding reasonable adjustments. Employers, in consultation with their staff, can then evaluate the feasibility of these adjustments. If the required adjustments are deemed disproportionate in terms of cost, the Access to Work Scheme is a click away.

The Access to Work Scheme is a reflection of our community’s values and our commitment to fostering an inclusive environment for all.

For more information or to apply, visit