Firstly, no, employers cannot apply for the Access To Work to pay for adjustments. It’s the employee that needs to apply for Access To Work but as an employer you could support them through the process as they may not know that this grant/support is available to them. It supports both physical and mental health.
Secondly, officially on the government website it says that Access To Work will not pay for reasonable adjustments (as of February 2023). This is a little confusing as Access To Work does assist in ensuring that individuals have what they need to work well, and they do provide some funding towards the extra costs that may be associated with this. This might mean funding for things like specialist equipment, modifying equipment, providing interpreters, paying for extra travel costs or for one-to-one sessions with mental health professionals. Via Access To Work employees can also receive support plans with associated grants to cover the costs of delivering this support.
In reality, Access To Work doesn’t let you off the hook as an employer. You still need to follow a good workplace adjustments process in order to satisfy your requirement in law to provide reasonable adjustments.