Sometimes changes need to be made in the workplace for people with disability to perform a particular job. The Australian Government provides funding through the Employment Assistance Fund (EAF) to cover the costs of making workplace changes. This can include buying equipment, modifications or accessing services for people with disability.
The EAF can cover more than just physical changes to the workplace. Other items often covered under the EAF include communications technology, Auslan (Australian Sign Language) interpreting, disability awareness training for staff, and specialist support for people with mental health conditions or learning disorders.
Some funding caps apply to particular items under the EAF as follows:
Physical workplace adjustments and building modifications are capped at $30,000.
Auslan Level 1* interpreting is for work related activities for employees who are deaf or have hearing impairment, including remote interpreting and real time captioning: it is capped at $6,000 for every 12 month period.
Auslan Level 2 interpreting is for job interviews and related activities, such as site visits, completion of tests and information sessions for people who are deaf or have hearing impairment: funding is uncapped.
Auslan Level 3 interpreting is to help co-workers receive training (Certificate II in Auslan) to communicate with employees who are deaf or have a hearing impairment and who use Auslan as their main method of communication: it is capped at $855.
Disability Awareness Training** if you employ a person with disability, you can apply for funding for disability awareness training for the workplace. Capped at $1,500 for each employee with disability within a 12 month period.
* A new Auslan Level 1 application is required for work related activities every 12 months.
**The training cannot be delivered by the employer’s own organisation.
The Employment Assistance Fund application process
Your organisation submits an application for the Employment Assistance Fund (EAF).
JobAccess assesses the application and lets your organisation know the outcome. If the application goes ahead, JobAccess will advise if a workplace assessment is needed.
If no workplace assessment is needed, your organisation can purchase the goods/services and have the costs reimbursed by JobAccess.
If a workplace assessment is needed, JobAccess will arrange a specialist (at no cost to you) to confirm what workplace changes are required. Your organisation can then purchase the goods/services and have the costs reimbursed by JobAccess.