Supported Wage for Employees with Disabilities

Policy Human Resources Supported Wage for Employees with Disabilities

Supported Wage for Employees with Disabilities

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To promote employment of people who cannot work at full wages level because of a disability and to define the conditions that will apply to employees who, because of the effects of a disability, are eligible for a supported wage.


JCU employees who, because of the effects of a disability, are eligible for a supported wage.


“Accredited Assessor” - a person accredited by the management unit established by the Commonwealth under the supported wage system to perform assessments of an individual’s productive capacity within the supported wage system.

“Assessment Instrument” - the tool provided for under the supported wage system that records the assessment of the productive capacity of the person to be employed under the supported wage system.

“Disability Support Pension” - the Commonwealth pension scheme to provide income security for persons with a disability as provided under the Social Security Act 1991 (Cth), as amended from time to time, or any successor to that scheme.

“Supported Wage System” (SWS) - means the Commonwealth Government system to promote employment for people who cannot work at full award wages because of a disability, as documented in the Supported Wage System Handbook. The Handbook is available from the following website:\

“SWS wage assessment Agreement” means the document in the form required by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations that records the employee’s productive capacity and agreed wage rate.

Policy and Procedures

1. Eligibility Criteria

An employee will be eligible to participate in the SWS where they are unable to perform the range of duties to the competence level required within the class of work for which the employee is engaged under this award, because of the effects of a disability on their productive capacity and who meet the impairment criteria for receipt of a disability support pension.

The policy does not apply to any existing employee who has a claim against the University that is subject to the provisions of Workers' Compensation legislation or any provision relating to the rehabilitation of employees who are injured in the course of their employment.

This policy does not apply to the University where it participates in the facility program, undertaking service or the like which receives funding under the ‘Disability Services Act 1986' and fulfils the dual role of service provider and sheltered employer to people with disabilities, who are in receipt of, or are eligible, for Disability Support Pension. This provision applies with the exception of where the University or part of the University has received recognition under s.10 or under s.12A of the ‘Disability Services Act'. If a part only of the University has received recognition, the exception applies only to that part.

2. Supported Wage Rates

An employee to whom this policy applies will be paid the applicable percentage of the minimum salary rate of pay prescribed for the class of work that the person is performing according to the following:

Assessed Capacity (%)

% of Prescribed Agreement Rate



















The minimum amount payable will not be less than $75 each week.

Where a person's assessed capacity is 10%, they will receive a high degree of help and support.

3. Assessment of Capacity

For the purpose of establishing the percentage of the relevant minimum wage, the productive capacity of the employee will be assessed in accordance with the Supported Wage System by an approved assessor, having consulted the employer and employee and, if the employee so desires, a union which the employee is eligible to join.

All assessments made under this schedule must be documented in an SWS wage assessment agreement, and retained by the employer as a time and wages record in accordance with the Act.

4. Lodgment of Assessment Instrument

All SWS wage assessment agreements under the conditions of this Policy, including the appropriate percentage of the relevant minimum wage to be paid to the employee, must be lodged by the employer with Fair Work Australia.

All SWS wage assessment agreements must be agreed and signed by the employee and employer parties to the assessment. Where a union which has an interest and is not a party to the assessment, the assessment will be referred by Fair Work Australia to the union by certified mail and the agreement will take effect unless an objection is notified to Fair Work Australia within 10 working days.

5. Review of Assessment

The assessment of the applicable percentage should be subject to annual review or earlier on the basis of a reasonable request for such a review.

The process of review must be in accordance with the procedures for assessing capacity under the SWS.

6. Other Terms and Conditions of Employment

Where an assessment has been made, the applicable percentage will apply to the wage rate only. An employee covered by the provisions of this policy, will be entitled to the same terms and conditions of employment as all other workers paid on a proportional basis.

7. Workplace Adjustment

JCU will take reasonable steps to make changes in the workplace to enhance the employee's capacity to do the job.

Changes may involve redesign of position duties, working time arrangements and work organisation in consultation with other workers in the area.

8. Trial Period

In order for an adequate assessment of the employee’s capacity to be made, an employer may employ a person under the provisions of this schedule for a trial period not exceeding 12 weeks, except that in some cases additional work adjustment time (not exceeding four weeks) may be needed.

During that trial period the assessment of capacity will be undertaken and the percentage of the relevant minimum wage for a continuing employment relationship will be determined.

The minimum amount payable to the employee during the trial period must be no less than $75 per week.

Work trials should include induction or training as appropriate to the job being trialled.

Where the employer and employee wish to establish a continuing employment relationship following the completion of the trial period, a further contract of employment will be entered into based on the outcome of assessment.

Approval Details

Policy sponsor:

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources

Approval authority:

Human Resources Committee

Approval date:


Version no:


Date for next review:


Modification History


Revision date

Description of changes




Policy sponsor and approval authority amended to reflect approved policy framework

Quality, Standards and Policy

Version no.

Approval date

Implementation date









There are no related procedures.

There are no other related documents.