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32.3.4 Applying 'Suitable Employment' criteria to individual circumstances

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In order to apply S19(4) of the SRCA, the Delegate must be satisfied that the AE amount is from 'suitable employment', as defined in S4(1) of the SRC, albeit that the client may not be able to obtain actual suitable employment.

The definition and nature of 'Suitable Employment' is discussed at length, at 12.1 to 12.3.

Having regard to the criteria set out in the definition at S4(1) and discussed at chapter 12, (i.e. age experience education etc.) little additional specific guidance can be given. The application of those criteria to a particular case, is a matter for the delegate's judgement. However, delegates should liaise closely with rehabilitation coordinators and base their judgements on the experience and outcome of any rehabilitation program.

Note, that in addition to the deemed work being of a suitable type or classification, delegates must also ensure the deemed weekly hours are also 'suitable' to the residual capacity. This decision should be made on professional medical or rehabilitation advice.

Deeming in suitable employment to be equitable.

In brief, for the purposes of this instruction, delegates should, when considering what is 'suitable employment', have regard to the client's:

  • education
  • employment history
  • training
  • medical restrictions.

Meaning that the deemed AE (which depends on what employment is considered 'suitable') should be appropriate to the client's innate and historically proven abilities.

As an example, a RAAF General Hand who has been retrained in clerical skills could be deemed able to earn as an Administrative Service Officer in the Australian Public Service (APS), in a State/Territory Public Service or in private enterprise, provided he/she meets all relevant entrance criteria. However it would not be appropriate to deem such an individual as a secondary school teacher or an electronics technician.

As a further example, a RAAF Pilot who has been retrained in Microcomputer Technology could be deemed as able to earn as an Information Technology Officer in a similar range of employment environments. However it would not be appropriate to deem a person with those qualifications and abilities as an office cleaner or a council road worker.