When you employ a person with a disability the following incentives may be available:
Work Experience or Work Training
This allows employees to work in a position for a period of time to learn the job.
Employment Assistance Fund
This helps by providing financial assistance to purchase a range of work-related modifications and services for people who are about to start a job or who are currently working, as well as those who require assistance to find and prepare for work.
The Fund may reimburse the cost of work-related modifications and services including but not limited to:
- the cost of modifications to the physical work environment
- modifications to work vehicles
- adaptive equipment for the workplace
- information and communication devices
- Auslan interpreting
- specialist services for employees with specific learning disorders and mental health conditions
- disability awareness trainning, and
- mental health first aid training.
Workplace Modification (WMS)
The Workplace Modifications Scheme provides reimbursement to employers of the cost for workplace modifications and equipment for jobseekers with disability, to assist in the enhancement or retention of their employment. Such equipment or products may be purchased, leased or hired. The guidelines have recently been reviewed to broaden the eligibility requirements and increase the scope of the assistance provided.
On-the-Job Support (OTJS)
This programme ceased to take in new participants in October 1999, however there was no timeframe established, after which the programme would no longer be operational. Therefore, there are still people who continue to work under arrangements made before October 1999. For these people their OTJS will continue to be paid until it is no longer required, or the worker ceases in that particular job.
The OTJS may be provided through a specialist disability employment agency, or through an employer and an annual amount of $1500 is available for each employee receiving the service.
Supported Wage System (SWS)
This scheme makes it legal for an employer to pay a productivity based wage to an employee with disability. The employee is paid a trial or training wage, for the first 13 weeks of employment, after which an appropriate pro rata wage rate is established, based on an independent assessment of the employee's productivity. This assessment is reviewed annually or at the request of either the employee or the employer. A new placement payment of $1,000 may be made to eligible employers to help offset the costs associated with employing the worker with the disability.
Traineeships for People with Disability (through Department of Education, Science and Training)
State and Territory Governments have responsibility for the administration and delivery of vocational and technical education (VTE). However, the Australian Government is working with the States and Territories to improve participation in training for people with a disability. The Australian Government has provided almost $5 billion to States and Territories under the 2005-08 Commonwealth-State Agreement for Skilling Australia's Workforce, and as one of the conditions of this funding has required the States and Territories to provide 10,000 additional training places for people with a disability over three years.
Disabled New Apprentice Wage Subsidy Scheme (DNAWS). This programme is delivered through the Department of Education, Science and Training.
This programme is designed to assist people with disability who would otherwise be prevented from starting a new apprenticeship because of mobility restriction or need for equipment to enable them to undertake on-the-job training.
Under DNAWS an employer may be eligible to receive an incentive to accommodate the physical employment requirements of a potential new apprentice, to enable them to fully undertake all training and work experience necessary for the apprenticeship. The training provider may be eligible for funding to provide extra training support needs. Further information is available on the web site www.adcet.edu.au/rdco
- National Disability Coordination Officer Program
The Australian Government also funds some programmes directly which assists people with disabilities to access and complete VTE and higher education.
The National Disability Coordination Officer (NDCO) program targets the barriers that people with a disability face in gaining access to, and successfully completing, post-school education and training, through a comprehensive national network of 31 National Disability Coordination Officers.
The NDCO program works toward the Australia-wide coordination and delivery of transition services for people with a disability who are at, or who will be attending, university, vocational education and training or another training organisation.
The above information is current as at August 2006 and is subject to change.
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