Looking for ways to build a more engaged and diverse workforce? The Australian Government has introduced a range of incentives and wage subsidies to help businesses hire talent, while making a positive impact on society.
It has been proven that workplaces that celebrate inclusivity, where individuals with disabilities are given equal opportunities will thrive. Studies have shown that embracing diversity and disability inclusivity leads to higher levels of engagement, productivity, and workplace morale.
The Australian Government recognises these benefits and has introduced several incentives and wage subsidies ranging from $1,650 to up to $60,000. These initiatives are designed to assist and encourage businesses to employ new employees, especially those with disabilities or individuals who have recently come back from work-related injuries or illnesses.
In this article, we will provide an overview of the available initiatives, including the:
– Worksafe Incentive scheme (up to $26,000)
– Wage Subsidy ($10,000 subsidy)
– Employment Assistance Fund for workplace changes (up to $60,000)
– Disability Employment Services – Wage Subsidy Scheme – funding up to $1,650
1. Worksafe Incentive scheme (up to 26,000)
First, there is the WorkSafe Incentive Scheme for Employers (WISE), which gives employers up to $26,000 when they offer at least 8 hours per week of ongoing employment to someone who can’t return to their previous employer after a work-related injury or illness.
What businesses or positions are NOT eligible for WISE?
But be aware, some businesses or positions are not eligible for WISE, such as labour hire companies, employment agencies or group training organisations. Plus, WISE can’t be used for traineeships and apprenticeships.
For more information, refer to the WorkSafe Incentive Scheme for Employers – Program Overview.
2. Wage Subsidy ($10,000 subsidy)
Additional incentives to consider are wage subsidies ranging up to $10,000, which may be available to your business if you are looking to hire eligible individuals into ongoing jobs. They can be for full-time, part-time, casual, or even traineeship or apprenticeship positions.
What employees are NOT eligible?
Note that you can’t access a wage subsidy if you already receive other government funding for the same position. The wage subsidy CANNOT be for a family member, and must not be a commission-based, self-employment or subcontracted position.
For more information, visit the Workforce Australia website.
3. Employment Assistance Fund (EAF) for workplace changes (up to $60,000)
The Australian Government provides funding through the EAF program to help and encourage businesses to modify their workplace to provide a safe working environment for individuals with a disability. Encouraging and supporting businesses to employ people with disability, improve their access to work opportunities, and maximise their capacity and workplace independence.
The fund is there to assist employers to:
- make modifications to the workplace,
- invest in equipment and services they require as a result of their disability or for them to be able to perform their employment duties,
- invest in communications technology or Auslan (Australian Sign Language) interpreting services,
- undertake disability awareness training for the workplace,
- provide specialist support for people with mental health conditions or learning disorders.
For more information, visit the Job Access website.
4. Disability Employment Services – Wage Subsidy Scheme – funding up to $1,650
The Wage Subsidy Scheme provides payments to eligible employers to help cover an employee’s wages in the first few months of employment. The scheme helps people with disability gain skills and experience through employment.
What Businesses are eligible for this funding?
To be eligible, you need to have an Australian business number (ABN), have not previously received a government wage subsidy for the same job, and have not recently retrenched or reduced or plans to reduce the number of workers.
For more information on this wage subsidy, visit the Business Australia website.
How can Morrows help?
Navigating through Government grants and initiatives can be tricky, but don’t worry; our team of advisors at Morrows are happy to help. Reach out to your advisor, they can help you determine which programs and grants your business may be entitled to. With the Australian Government’s support, you can find the right candidates for your business while providing employment opportunities to those in need.