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 services, disability awareness training for the workplace, 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 $60,000
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 $12,000 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*** for the workplace is capped at $1,500 per year for each employee with disability and is restricted to organisations who employ people with disability.
* A new Auslan Level 1 application is required for work related activities every 12 months.
** EAF assistance is not available for Auslan interpreting services for contacts between the DES Provider and their Participant.
***The training cannot be delivered by the employer’s own organisation or a DES Provider’s own organisation.
The Employment Assistance Fund application process
You submit an application for the Employment Assistance Fund (EAF) on behalf of an employer or employee.
JobAccess assesses the application and lets you know the outcome. If the application goes ahead, JobAccess will advise if a workplace assessment is needed.
If no workplace assessment is needed, the employer or employee can purchase the approved item(s), and claim reimbursement for the goods/services through the Department of Jobs and Small Business’ IT System.
If a workplace assessment is needed, JobAccess will arrange a specialist (at no cost) to confirm what workplace changes are required. Following approval, you can purchase the agreed item(s) and claim reimbursement directly from the Department of Jobs and Small Business’ IT System.