A councillor and disabilities campaigner has met with the Minister for Work and Pensions to discuss issues that are leaving disabled people without the support they need to do their jobs.

Councillor Rosa Gomez, who represents Churchfields Ward in Redbridge, met with Justin Tomlinson MP to discuss her concerns about the way the Access to Work scheme for people with disabilities is organised.

The scheme provides people with disabilities extra funding so their individual needs can be accommodated and they can contribute fully in their work.

The issue is the current scheme requires all documents to be sent by paper copy, with no digital alternative available. This has led to support workers going without payments when documents are misplaced.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Councillor Rosa Gomez, who represents Churchfields Ward in Redbridge. Photo: UGC

Cllr Gomez is registered blind and has sensory and physical disabilities, and is herself a user of the scheme.

She spoke to the minister in a meeting arranged by Wes Streeting MP for Ilford North.

She said: “Access to Work is a fantastic scheme, which allows me and thousands of others to stay in jobs that we love. I understand how important Access to Work is and I am determined to ensure that it meets the needs of as many users as possible. The government insists upon tax returns being completed digitally and the DWP now insists upon Universal credit applications being made online.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Justin Tomlinson is Minister for Work and Pensions. Photo: UGC

“Others have reported to me their concerns about these old-fashioned submissions. I myself have had problems, with private data submitted to the scheme getting lost in the post.

“I am really pleased that Justin Tomlinson has given an assurance to move to a digital solution in the near future. In addition, he has pledged to get an extra 1 million people with disabilities employed by 2027, which I welcome.

“I look forward to seeing his department working to make access to employment easy, so that those with disabilities are able to achieve their potential.”