A scheme is being launched to help people with disabilities and long-term health conditions return to work.
The Manx Reskill Scheme will specifically target people who have not worked due to illness for at least one year.
The Scheme will see a slightly different approach to that of the Manx Restart Scheme with eligible employers being provided with a higher level of financial support at the outset. They will be able to claim 100% of salary costs for the first six months, 75% for months 7-9 and 50% of costs for months 10-12 (capped at the rate of Living Wage).
As part of this, employers may be able to access support for any adaptations or aids required to support the successful employment, as well as free training on Mental Health and Disability awareness. And eligible individuals will benefit from an assessment conducted by the Occupational Health Service. Discussions will focus on the type of roles and sectors which might be suitable, along with any support that might help them transition and retain work. A report will be produced to share with the agency and their new employer, should they choose to do so.
Participation in the Manx Reskill scheme will be entirely voluntary. Benefit claimants will not suffer any detriment if they choose not to take part or if they withdraw after having enrolled.
Sarah Maltby MHK, Treasury Member with responsibility for Social Security, said: ‘The Manx Reskill Scheme is specifically aimed at supporting the employment of individuals who may find it more difficult to re-enter the workplace after a period of unemployment. It will demonstrate collaborative working between individuals, employers, the Treasury, Occupational Health Service and an external recruitment agency, who will work together to support and enable the re-employment of people who have been out of work due to illness for some considerable time.
‘As we know, long-term unemployment can lead to deteriorating mental and physical health so I am really keen to offer a scheme which puts the needs of these individuals first and allow employers an opportunity to access financial support as well as free training on Mental Health and Disability awareness.’