A Deaf chief executive has won the right to question the government’s “discriminatory” cap on Access to Work (AtW) payments in the high court, in the latest legal challenge to the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) disability policy agenda.
David Buxton, chief executive of Action on Disability in London, is one of many British Sign Language (BSL)-users who have been hit by the imposition of the cap on payments made by the AtW scheme, which provides disabled people with funding to pay for some of the extra disability-related expenses they face at work.
Now the high court has ruled that Buxton’s legal challenge can go ahead, with his lawyers set to argue – under the Equality Act 2010 – that the cap breached the public sector equality duty and subjected him to indirect discrimination.
His judicial review case is being funded by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
It comes just weeks after another legal challenge forced work and pensions ministers into a climbdown over new personal independence payment rules that were found by the high court to be unlawful and “blatantly discriminatory”.
And earlier this month, a terminally-ill man, TP, won permission for a judicial review of the financial impact of the introduction of universal credit on disabled people with high support needs, through the loss of the severe disability premium and enhanced disability premium.
Disability News Service reported last year how Buxton had been told that AtW would only provide him with enough support to pay for interpreters three days every week.