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Workplace Personal Assistants Policy

Disability Sheffield has been working in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University and University of York to continue the development of their research project, Workplace Personal Assistants (WPA). We are keen to work with employers to develop a policy that can be adapted for each workplace and easily adopted by businesses to ensure that all aspects of having WPAs are considered.

We have been meeting up with employers at the employer forums in the Job Centres in Sheffield and they are keen to think about this issue and support the drafting of a generic policy.

Some of the things that we discussed in the forums are:
• Who funds the WPA?
• Office Access for WPAs (does a WPA get a separate door card)
• Is the WPA covered under employers insurance or is the disabled employee responsible for this?
• Does an employer provide extra space for a WPA to sit next to or near to a disabled employee?
• Who will employ the WPA, the employer or the disabled person?
• What does the WPA have access to, e.g. do they sign a confidentiality agreement?
• Outline of roles – Job descriptions for WPA – shared understanding
• Professional conduct. Who deals with issues that might arise and at what point can an employer step in if they feel the behaviour of the WPA is affecting business.

Kathryn Littlewood, Development Worker at Disability Sheffield is leading on this piece of work and aims to draft a generic policy/guidance that can be adopted by a range of employers and disabled people in a variety of industries.

If you are an employer and want to comment on this please contact Kathryn on 0114 253 6705 or email Kathryn.littlewood@disabilitysheffield.org.uk .

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