Coronavirus: information and updates

Keeping disability equipment when you leave your job

When your employer has paid for specialist equipment or assistive technology to help you do your job, you may want to keep it when you leave.

Check what you are entitled to

In most cases, your employer will own the equipment. You do not have the right to keep it or pass it to another employer.

If your employer bought the equipment through Access to Work, your employer owns it. This can be confusing as you made the application, but the grant was paid to your employer.

Access to Work grant scheme

If your employer paid for the equipment themselves, they own the equipment.

Some employers have a policy that entitles you to keep any specialist equipment they have bought for you. This may be a Reasonable Adjustments Policy or Disability Employment Policy. If you are not sure, ask your HR team for help.

If you think that the equipment could help you when you leave your job, ask to keep it.

Talking to your employer

Before you talk to your employer, write down:

  • a list of specialist equipment they have bought, not the standard equipment provided for your job
  • when the equipment was bought, as it will lose its value (depreciate) over time

If you work for a smaller organisation, you might be able to have a less formal discussion. Larger organisations are more likely to have HR departments and policies.

Ask for a meeting with your manager

You may find it helpful to practise with a friend or trusted colleague what you want to say.

You may not feel comfortable about asking your manager for help. You could:

  • ask for someone from HR to attend the meeting
  • speak to HR directly
  • send your request in an email

Tell your manager why it would be helpful for you to keep the equipment. If you are moving to a new job, explain that it can take several months for your new employer to provide the equipment that you need through Access to Work.

For example, you could say something like, “I know the equipment is the company’s but it would really help me if I could keep it.”

Think about why your employer might want to keep the equipment

There may be other employees who could benefit from it. For example, if you have specialist software for dyslexia, this could be passed onto another employee.

If the equipment is valuable, your employer may want to sell it.

Explain how taking the equipment might help your employer

If the equipment (for example, a chair) is tailored to your needs, it may not be suitable for another person.

If the equipment is large or bulky, your employer may not have space to store it.

If your employer lets you have the equipment

Your employer will need to account for your equipment in their records. This means they need to give it a value and record it as a gift in their accounts.

If they agree to sell it to you or include it in your redundancy package, they will need to agree a price with you.

Ask for written confirmation that the equipment belongs to you. This is usually called a Letter of Entitlement. This means that you can prove you have the right to take it when you leave.

Warning Taking equipment without permission is theft

Do not take any equipment from your employer without written evidence that you own it. You could be charged with theft.

If your employer provides a support worker

Your employer may have provided a support worker using an Access to Work grant, for example:

  • someone who reads for you
  • a sighted guide
  • a British Sign Language interpreter

In most cases, this support will end with your employment.

Warning Equipment bought with Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)

If any of your equipment came through DSA, you own the equipment. You can keep it when you finish your work study placement.

Disabled Students’ Allowances

Last reviewed by Scope on: 21/01/2020

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