This story is part of the Inclusive employment series.
A range of programs and supports are available for businesses exploring opportunities to employ people with diverse abilities. This includes free information and support services, funding to purchase assistive technology and a supported wage system. Wage subsidies may also be available for employers that meet certain criteria.
JobAccess is a government information and advisory service that provides information about government services and incentives for employing people with a disability.
There’s information on the support available to employers, your rights and responsibilities and an employer toolkit that covers hiring, recruiting, preparing your workplace and managing your team.
JobAccess also offers a confidential free service for managers of workers with disability, providing expert advice on matters relating to employment, assistance with specific issues, advice about reasonable adjustments, referral to experts and access to funding. JobAccess Advisors can be reached on 1800 464 800.
The Employment Assistance Fund.
The Employment Assistance Fund (EAF) is a federal government program that provides financial assistance to eligible people with disability and mental health conditions and their employers to purchase work-related modifications, equipment and support services.
It is available for people with a disability who are starting a job or currently working as well as people who need Auslan assistance or special work equipment to look for and prepare for a job.
EAF can be used to fund:
- Adjustments to the workplace
- Modifications to work vehicles
- Workplace equipment
- Information and communication devices
- Auslan interpreting services
- Disability awareness training for the workplace
- Specialist services for employees with specific learning disorders and mental health conditions
- Mental health awareness and first aid training.
A free workplace assessment is available to determine the modifications or supports required to help the person perform the duties of their job and make the workplace more accessible and flexible.
National Disability Recruitment Coordinator.
The National Disability Recruitment Coordinator (NDRC) helps larger employers attract the skills and talents of people with a disability. The government-funded program can help managers design jobs for people with disability and write clear position descriptions focusing on the fundamental requirements of the job.
The NDRC can be contacted by speaking with a Job Access Adviser on 1800 464 800.
Disability Employment Services.
Disability Employment Services (DES) help people with a disability find and keep a job. DES providers may be large, medium or small non-profit or for-profit organisations that are experienced in supporting people with a disability. They can also provide assistance to employers to put in place practices to support the employee in the workplace.
Prospective employees can register via Centrelink or visit a service centre.
The Australian Network on Disability.
The Australian Network on Disability is a membership based organisation that supports organisations to advance the inclusion of people with disability in all aspects of business.
National Disability Insurance Scheme.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funds reasonable and necessary supports for eligible participants with a disability which may include personal care at work, support workers and aids and equipment related to a person’s disability (eg. wheelchairs).
Supported Wage System.
The Supported Wage System was set up for employees with disability who cannot perform jobs at the same capacity as other employees. Under the program, special workplace arrangements are created so employers can pay wages to a person with a disability based on how productive they are in the job. This is a formal process and requires an onsite workplace assessment.
As an incentive for hiring people with disabilities, employers can negotiate wage subsidies directly with a Disability Employment Services Provider (DES) to hire a new employee. Wage subsidies are by agreement and have specific requirements including minimum time commitments. The amount paid depends on the program and agreement.
- The Wage Subsidy Scheme provides up to $1,650 (inclusive of GST) for jobs of at least eight hours per week, over 13 weeks.
- Wage Start provides up to $6,000 (inclusive of GST) for jobs of at least 15 hours per week, over 26 weeks.
- Restart provides up to $10,000 (inclusive of GST) for jobs of at least 20 hours per week, over 26 weeks.
Disabled Australian Apprentice Wage Support Program.
The Disabled Australian Apprentice Wage Support Program is a payment that assists employers of eligible Australian apprentices with disabilities.
The payments may be made to employers who:
- Employ an eligible Australian apprentice with a disability who finds it difficult to get an approved apprenticeship because of their disability
- Currently employ an Australian apprentice who has acquired a disability during their apprenticeship and needs help as a result.
Work Assist provides support to eligible employees who have difficulty fulfilling the essential requirements of their role due to disability, injury or ill health. A disability services provider works with the Work Assist participant and their employer to provide support so the participant can continue to work.
The types of assistance can include:
- Face-to-face support
- Advice about job redesign
- Workplace assessments
- Workplace modifications or special equipment
- Support in the workplace to manage the impact of the disability or health condition
- Interventions such as physiotherapy or pain management.
Other state or industry-based incentives may also be available.
For more information about inclusive employment, check out our Inclusive employment page or download the full version of the free Leap in! ebook, Inclusive employment: A comprehensive guide for creating a culture of inclusion for disabled people in your organisation.
The information provided here is general in nature only and does not constitute business financial or legal advice. The information has been prepared without taking into account your business objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any of this information, you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your business objectives, financial/legal situation and needs.