Supported Employment Service guidelines

These guidelines should be read in conjunction with our General provider guidelines.

What is a Supported Employment Service?

A Supported Employment Service is delivered within an Australian Disability Enterprise via a team based approach. The service supports the paid employment of TAC clients through the provision of assistance and support necessary to sustain employment. It ensures workplace tasks are individually tailored to suit the needs of the client and supports the client to progress towards their vocational goal(s), which may include transition to working in open employment.

The amount of supported employment typically provided to the client ranges between 8 and 40 hours a week and is determined by the client's support requirements and hours of work. The amount of work offered to a client is also informed by the capacity of the Australian Disability Enterprise due to the commercial activities they are engaged in.

Who can provide Supported Employment Service?

Supported Employment Service can only be provided by an Australian Disability Enterprise registered with the National Disability Insurance Scheme and/or Department of Social Services. A list of registered providers is available on the Find Disability Enterprise page on the BuyAbility website.

TAC client eligibility

TAC clients can access the Supported Employment Service if:

  • they require support to obtain and retain employment as a result of their accident related injuries
  • employment in the open market is unlikely at this stage
  • they have a goal to find and keep a job or to increase their employability and work readiness (e.g. capacity, confidence) before progressing to open employment
  • they have the desire and interest to undertake and sustain employment
  • they have the capacity to undertake their own self-care routine (e.g. provision of medication) or have the accompanying supports (e.g. attendant care)

What we can pay for

The TAC can pay for Supported Employment Service that has been approved in writing by the TAC, when required as a result of a transport accident injury.

The Supported Employment Service includes support provided by appropriately qualified and experienced staff employed at an Australian Disability Enterprise and may include:

  • An initial interview with the TAC client to provide an overview of employment within the Australian Disability Enterprise, the Supported Employment Service and the type of support provided.
  • For TAC clients in receipt of the Disability Support Pension, explanation of their rights and obligations with regard to hours worked and any impact of this on their pension entitlement.
  • Development of an Individual Employment Support Plan (see below).
  • A work trial to ensure support requirements are met for each client and the employment is the right fit for the client.
  • On the job support such as prompting to keep to task, implementing strategies to support cognitive or physical impairments and tailoring tasks to ensure the client's ongoing engagement in supported employment.
  • Work task modification to support engagement in work activities, which may include but are not limited to: manufacturing; logistical services; digital technologies; forklift driving and warehousing; packaging of dry foods and retail products; labelling products; operating machinery; plant nursery work and cleaning.
  • Training which includes: skill assessment; identification of future skill needs of the client that align with their vocational or participation goals; upskilling to transition to more complex roles or mainstream employment and supporting communication with line managers and colleagues.
  • Employment counselling (e.g. issue resolution, workplace role clarification, personal safety or protective behaviours).
  • Support to prepare to work in open employment.
  • Safety training.
  • Ongoing support in relation to interpersonal and social skills.
  • Training in relation to rights and responsibilities (e.g. expectations and entitlements).
  • Collaboration with the client’s other supports such as family, vocational provider, occupational therapist, neuropsychologist, medical practitioner and TAC coordinator.

Vocational and/or clinical support

Where necessary, we can also pay for the client's occupational therapist and/or vocational provider to provide regular support, monitoring and review of the client’s progress in their employment and support to transition into open employment.

Where needed we can also pay for additional members of the client's support team to work with a client and you, for example, neuropsychologist, physiotherapist or speech therapist. This will ensure the client is receiving the optimal support necessary to sustain employment and increase skill capability.

What other support is available?

The TAC can consider paying for other supports and services to assist clients with returning to work or entering the workforce. These may include:

  • equipment needed in the workplace
  • travel to the supported employment service
  • retraining to help the client prepare to work in open employment

Individual Employment Support Plan

An Individual Employment Support Plan will be developed (in collaboration with the client and the occupational therapist and/or vocational provider if applicable) for each TAC client receiving Supported Employment Service within the first six weeks of employment. The employment support plan is reviewed every 12 months, potentially at the same time the annual wage assessment is undertaken.

The plans address the individual needs of TAC clients, to assist them to perform in their roles, keep their jobs and progress their careers. Employment support plans consider various aspects of workplace management across a client's time in a role. These aspects may include:

  • workplace modifications and special equipment, if required
  • wage assessment
  • improvement and adjustments in wages
  • aspirations of the client
  • career progression discussion
  • job design including tasks, procedures and hours
  • ordered instructions for duties
  • visual/written checklists and memory prompts
  • workplace education
  • performance appraisals
  • timetables for skill development
  • review and updating of the employment support plan

Referral and recruitment process

Once the Supported Employment Service has been identified as an appropriate service, referrals can be initiated by the:

  • TAC client
  • occupational therapist and/or vocational Provider (and any appropriately placed member of the client's support team)
  • TAC coordinator

The referrer can directly contact the relevant Australian Disability Enterprise. Consideration will be given to the client's location. If the client demonstrates a preference for a particular Australian Disability Enterprise, then every effort will be made to ensure access is facilitated.

  • The client will visit the workplace to undertake a tour. The client may opt for their occupational therapist, vocational provider or other appropriate supports to attend this initial meeting.
  • If the client agrees to proceed with the referral, the occupational therapist and/or vocational provider will undertake a worksite assessment in collaboration with the Australian Disability Enterprise to ensure the client is able to work in the environment and identify any adjustments required.
  • The TAC coordinator will send an approval letter confirming the client’s eligibility for the Supported Employment Service provided within the Australian Disability Enterprise.
  • The client will undertake a trial or training period, during which they will be paid at the minimum wage level. At the end of the trial or training period a wage assessment will be conducted.

Wage assessment

At the end of the initial trial or training period a wage assessment will be conducted. If the client's wage increases from the minimum level, the client will receive a backdated payment from the Australian Disability Enterprise from the date the client was appointed as an employee, which reflects the wage increase.

The Australian Disability Enterprise is responsible for undertaking wage assessments based on a client’s work and providing this information to the TAC, in accordance with the client's consent.

The Australian Disability Enterprise will conduct a review of the wage assessment with the client at a maximum timeframe of every 12 months and the wage should be adjusted accordingly. A wage assessment conducted earlier than every 12 months may be required if the client’s work tasks or role changes within the Australian Disability Enterprise.

Impact on TAC client's benefits and entitlements

If a client is in receipt of the Disability Support Pension, the Australian Disability Enterprise will inform the client about any impact of their supported employment income on their Disability Support Pension entitlements. The Australian Disability Enterprise will also support the client to link in with appropriate government and support networks, as required (e.g. Centrelink).

If a client is in receipt of TAC income benefits (Loss of earnings [LOE] or Loss of earnings capacity [LOEC] benefits), the TAC will require the Australian Disability Enterprise to provide the wage assessment (in accordance with client consent) and the TAC coordinator will discuss with the client the impact of their wage on any LOE or LOEC.

The TAC client will need to provide the TAC with their payslips if they are in receipt of LOE or LOEC to ensure appropriate adjustments to payments are made.

Note: A TAC client who is severely injured can earn the statutory allowable amount before their TAC LOEC will be impacted. See current statutory amount.

Registration requirements

Only Australian Disability Enterprises that are registered with the Department of Social Services and/or the National Disability Insurance Agency as a Supported Employment Service organisation can deliver Supported Employment Service to TAC clients.

Australian Disability Enterprises must demonstrate the provision of an accessible working environment and have been independently assessed and certified as complying with the Disability Services Act 1986 and the Disability Services Act (National Standards for Disability Services) Determination 2014.

An Australian Disability Enterprise must produce their Certificate of Compliance within 12 months of delivering Supported Employment Service.

You must notify the TAC immediately if at any time the Department of Social Services and/or the National Disability Insurance Agency revoke your status as an Australian Disability Enterprise delivering Supported Employment Service.

Reporting specifications

The TAC expects Australian Disability Enterprises delivering Supported Employment Service with TAC clients to report on the below requirements upon request. This may be through a range of mechanisms such as written or verbal requests or provider meetings.

Australian Disability Enterprises delivering Supported Employment Service with TAC clients must be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Scheduled meetings to discuss performance and progress of Supported Employment Service in meeting TAC client employment goals.
  • Referral data in relation to TAC clients (e.g. number of referrals considered and/or accepted).
  • Collaboration with the client’s other supports (e.g. their family, occupational therapist, vocational provider, the TAC).
  • Linkage of TAC clients to appropriate skill building opportunities.
  • Evidence that the Supported Employment Service is based on flexibility, choice, individualisation and client driven outcomes.
  • Commitment to provide opportunities for TAC clients to transition into open employment.
  • Initial interview with each new TAC client commencing employment at your Australian Disability Enterprise.
  • Individual Employment Support Plans for each TAC client employed within the first six weeks of their employment.
  • The provision of appropriate diverse training to meet the diverse needs of TAC clients.
  • Employment of suitably trained and skilled staff who deliver the Supported Employment Service.
  • The Wage Assessment tools in use have been approved by the Fair Work Commission under the Supported Employment Services Award 2010.
  • Evidence of up to date registration as a National Disability Insurance Agency provider.
  • All attempts have been made to maximise hours of employment and not restrict hours of employment for a TAC client where hours are reasonably available.
  • If a TAC client has not accessed supported employment for a minimum of eight hours per week for any reason for longer than a calendar month, you must notify the TAC coordinator. This is required regardless of the reason for absence including an evidenced medical condition.
  • If a TAC client has not accessed supported employment due to an evidenced medical condition for longer than two months, funding to the Austrian Disability Enterprise will be suspended. This can be reviewed and funding resumed as and when appropriate.

How much we can pay

For TAC clients already working at an Australian Disability Enterprise who have had a Disability Maintenance Instrument (DMI) level assessment, payment will be made in accordance with the assessed level. The Australian Disability Enterprise will be required to provide confirmation of the DMI level as assessed by the Department of Social Services to the TAC.

For TAC clients commencing employment at an Australian Disability Enterprise from 3 September 2018, a one off start-up fee and the weekly Average Outlet Fee will apply. The Average Outlet Fee will be in accordance with the Department of Social Services allocated Average Outlet Fee.

Please refer to our Supported Employment Service Fee Schedule.

What services won’t the TAC pay for?

The TAC will not pay for:

  • Attendant care support to assist the client to engage in employment at an Australian Disability Enterprise or to access the Employment Support Service unless a significant level of personal care is required at the workplace.
  • Attendant care for community access to work at an Australian Disability Enterprise.
  • Treatment or services for a person other than the client.
  • Treatment or services not authorised by the TAC under the Transport Accident Act (1986).
  • Treatment or services subcontracted to, or provided by, a non-registered provider.
  • Treatment or services provided outside the Commonwealth of Australia.
  • Treatment or services provided more than two years prior to the request for funding except where the request for payment is made within three years of the transport accident. Refer to the Time Limit to Apply for the Payment of Medical and Like Expenses policy.