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Employer Incentives and Financial Assistance

The Australian Government strongly encourages all employers to consider employing people with disability. There are several programs which may assist employers with any financial cost associated with employing people with disability.

Employment Assistance Fund

The Employment Assistance Fund provides financial assistance to purchase a range of work related modifications and services for employees with disability. Assistance is available for people who are about to start a job or who are currently working, as well as those who require assistance to find and prepare for work.

The Employment Assistance Fund may reimburse the cost of work related modifications and services including, but not limited to:

  • The cost of modifications to the physical work environment
  • Modifications to work vehicles
  • Adaptive equipment for the workplace
  • Information and communication devices
  • Auslan interpreting (Australian sign language)
  • Specialist services for employees with specific learning disorders and mental health conditions
  • Disability awareness training
  • Deafness awareness training
  • Mental health awareness training

Recruitment agencies may also apply for reimbursement of Auslan interpreting that they provide for a job interview.

Disability Employment Services can apply for funding through the Employment Assistance Fund on behalf of an employer or candidate, or an employer may apply independently.

How to apply for the Employment Assistance Fund

The Employment Assistance Fund does not reimburse the cost of repairs or maintenance of work equipment or the costs of medical, therapeutic or fitness items or treatments, including cochlear implants and hearing aids.

Disabled Australian Apprentice Wage Support (DNAWS)

The DAAWS program provides funding for employers and training providers to assist apprentices and trainees with disability to successfully participate in on-the-job and off-the-job training. Apprentices and trainees with disability can access training support such as tutoring, mentoring, note taking or Auslan interpreting.

Financial assistance is available to an employer who currently employs an Australian Apprentice with a disability who has been assessed as requiring support.

More information, including eligibility requirements, can be found at

Payroll Tax Exemptions (NSW only)

The NSW State Government provides payroll tax exemptions for employers of people with disability. This exemption applies to all new employees with disability who are employed on or after 1 July 2011.

More information:

Wage Subsidies

Wage subsidies are paid to the employer to assist with covering the cost of paying wages in the first few months of employment of a person with disability. The aim of wage subsidies is to encourage employers to consider people with disability, and increase the competitiveness of people with disability in the marketplace.

Wage subsides are available through a number of programs including:

  • Wage Subsidy Scheme for job seekers registered with a Disability Employment Services provider
  • Wage Connect subsidies encourage employers to offer jobs to long term unemployed people registered with an Australian Government employment service provider
  • Employment Pathways Fund for job seekers registered with Job Services Australia
  • Indigenous Wage Subsidy for job seekers participating in Community Development Employment Projects, or registered with Centrelink or a Job Services Australia provider as actively seeking work.
    • For more information including eligibility criteria, call JobAccess on 1800 464 800. Disability Employment Services can also assist employers to determine eligibility.

      Supported Wage System

      Some people with disability are not able to fulfill usual workplace productivity requirements, due to the nature of their disability. The Supported Wage System allows employers to pay less than award wage by matching a person’s productivity with a fair wage. Through the Supported Wage System, approved assessors can determine an employee’s productivity, and calculate a fair wage.

      Applications for the Supported Wage System must be lodged online through JobAccess.