Success Making Sense Out Of Wage Subsidies
Jason was a 40 year old landscape gardener, who after an injury on his way to work, had difficulty in locating suitable work. With a young family to support, Jason needed to return to work, however experienced daily discomfort in his arm and neck which made him cautious on returning to the right work. Having part time working restrictions and not being able to return to the heavy work of gardening which would require him to lift and push over 20 kilos, Jason felt stuck and worried for his future.
Jason was referred to AW Workwise and joined their job seeking program, which looks at addressing barriers to employment for people with injuries. Jason went through pre-employment training including interview skills, communication in the workplace, manual handling techniques as well as other job seeking related skills. Jason demonstrated he was a reliable candidate with a good work ethic.
Jason was fortunate that AW Workwise was contacted by an employer whom had a successful job match previously with AW Workwise, and invited suitable applicants to apply for a position for a Mobile Maintenance Officer, who travelled to various locations, updated stock and checked cleaning equipment. Jason lived locally, possessed good problem solving skills and customer service ability. AW Workwise discussed with duties and goals of the positions and determined Jason was an ideal candidate for the position. In this role he would be able to take breaks as required, alternate his postures and commence part-time. Despite Jason’s enthusiasm for the role, moving into a different role was still a slight concern for Jason.
Upon a successful interview, AW Workwise spoke to the employer and Jason about commencing training under the Workcover Work trial scheme. Similarly to school work experience, the candidate learns the job at NO COST to the employer. The employer does not pay wages, and workers compensation insurance is covered by Workcover. All duties are reviewed and matched by AW Workwise’ occupational therapist to ensure both the employer and candidate is a suitable fit.
Jason was eager and the employer has decided to train Jason using the Work Trial process for four weeks. It was clear to the employer that Jason had great potential, received positive customer feedback and would be an asset to their business, so they offered employment. AW Workwise remained involved for several more weeks to provide support to both parties when required. During this time the employer was able to offer additional duties and Jason upgraded his hours as his role expanded. AW Workwise was able to go onsite and assist in providing recommendations and locating suitable equipment to complete his tasks and prevent future injury. AW Workwise also linked the employer into the JobCover Placement program upon employment commencement which provides a wage subsidy of up to $27,400 across the first 12 months of employment (paid in 3 instalments at 12, 26 and 52 weeks). More importantly for the employer, this program covered the additional costs of workers compensation premium payments for the first 2 years AND should the employee sustain an exacerbation to their initial workers compensation claim, the new employer will be protected against further costs for the first 2 years.
Twelve months on, Jason has increased his confidence and has now expanded to full time work, and has a company car. The relationship with the employer has continued to flourish and the employer stated he is one of their best and fastest workers. Using the work trial as a training period to test out this worker’s skills and utilising the wage subsidy made good business sense.