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9.10 Employer Incentives

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Last amended 
30 May 2017

From 29 May 2017, all Employer Incentive Scheme arrangements must be managed in R&C ISH using the Employer Incentive Scheme function outlined in the Rehabilitation Delegate Step by Step Guide in CLIK.

Incentive payments can only be paid to an employer when:

  • participation in the Employer Incentive Scheme is an approved activity under a client's vocational rehabilitation plan;
  • a rehabilitation provider has been engaged to ensure that the employment is safe and suitable, given the client's medical restrictions and the type of work they will be undertaking, and to monitor progress of the client's participation in the scheme;
  • the client's DVA Rehabilitation Coordinator has approved participation in the scheme prior to employment commencing;
  • the employer is paying the client full award wages at a salary rate comparable to other employees doing similar work for the organisation/employer; and
  • the client's incapacity payments have been ceased or reduced in accordance with the client's new earnings.

As a general rule, a Rehabilitation Coordinator must be satisfied that participation in the Employer Incentive Scheme is likely to lead to sustainable, ongoing employment for the client. If a Rehabilitation Coordinator has concerns about whether it is appropriate to approve participation in the scheme for an individual client, they are encouraged to contact the rehabilitation policy section at rehabilitation@dva.gov.au for advice.

Eligibility for the Employer Incentive Scheme

Employers are eligible for the incentives if:

  • they have not previously employed the client (previous participation in a work trial with the employer is acceptable);
  • their place of employment meets the necessary work health and safety standards;
  • they do not unreasonably dismiss other workers to create vacancies for workers available with incentives; and
  • they can provide ongoing full or part time paid employment for the worker.

To access the Employer Incentive Scheme, the employer must provide DVA with details of the offer of employment including gross wages, hours of employment, duties and conditions of employment.

Apprenticeships and traineeships are eligible for the scheme. If you have a query from an employer about the kind of job they can offer to qualify for the scheme, please contact the rehabilitation policy section at rehabilitation@dva.gov.au for advice. Any policy advice received must be uploaded as an attachment to the client's R&C ISH case.

Clients are eligible for placement via the incentives if they are:

  • unable to return to their previous employer;
  • able to work within specified return to work medical guidelines; and
  • in receipt of incapacity benefits from DVA at the time of their initial employment.

Incentives are paid under subsection 37(4) of the SRCA or subsection 51(5) of the MRCA.  The employer incentives payable are as follows:

  • reimbursement of 75% of gross wages for the first three months of employment;
  • reimbursement of 40% of gross wages for the second three months of employment; and
  • a retention bonus of 10% of annual gross wages (up to a maximum of $2000) if the employment is sustained beyond 12 months.

Gross wages exclude allowances, overtime, superannuation, commissions and any compensation payments.

Managing employment through the Employer Incentive Scheme

Before the employment commences, the Rehabilitation Coordinator must send the employer a completed "Employment Incentive Scheme Offer Letter" and send the rehabilitation provider the "Employer Incentive Scheme Cover Letter". These letters confirm the employer's participation in the scheme and outline DVA's expectations of the provider in relation to monitoring the client's participation in the scheme. Rehabilitation Coordinators can access these letters through the Rehabilitation and Compensation Support site rehabilitation page under "Employer Incentive Scheme". 

It is mandatory that R&C ISH standard letters are used when communicating to employers and providers about the Employer Incentive Scheme. Letters generated from R&C ISH will automatically attach to the client's UIN folder in TRIM.

The rehabilitation service provider is responsible for monitoring the client's progress in their employment and helping to resolve any issues as needed. This may include informing the client's DVA Rehabilitation Coordinator of the need for any workplace aids and appliances or any additional services or supports.

The rehabilitation service provider must closely monitor the placement for the first 6 months and provide monthly progress reports to the client's Rehabilitation Coordinator.  These reports will be used as support evidence when the employer makes claims for the employment incentive payments at the end of the first three months of employment, and the second three months of employment.

At the 9 month stage the rehabilitation service provider will review the client's progress, work performance and their continued suitability in the workplace and provide the Rehabilitation Coordinator with a progress report highlighting any issues that need to be addressed. 

At the 12 month stage, the rehabilitation service provider will review and report on the client's progress, work performance and employment status. This report should confirm entitlement to the retention bonus where the employment will continue and result in ongoing employment.

The rehabilitation case may then be closed, unless there are other non-vocational rehabilitation activities that need to be considered or completed.

Claiming the employer incentive payment

Employers must use form "D1224 Claim for reimbursement under the Employer Incentive Scheme" to claim the incentive payments. Rehabilitation Coordinators can access this claim form through the Rehabilitation and Compensation site rehabilitation page under "Employer Incentive Scheme". This claim form should also be attached the "Employer Incentive Scheme Offer Letter" sent to the employer at the beginning of the employment period. Instructions for sending this form to employers separately to the offer letter are outlined in the Rehabilitation Delegate Step by Step Guide in CLIK using the Employer Incentive Scheme function.

Employers should be asked to forward claims for payment for incentives to the client's rehabilitation service provider at the conclusion of each of the employment reimbursement increments (i.e. at the conclusion of the first three month period, at the conclusion of the second three months, and at the twelve month anniversary of the person commencing the employment). The rehabilitation provider will then forward the claim to the client's DVA Rehabilitation Coordinator for payment. The Rehabilitation Coordinator will need to upload reimbursement claim forms to the client's EIS R&C ISH case.

The Rehabilitation Coordinator must issue a determination to enable each incentive payment to be released to the employer. The payment of each employer incentive must be documented in R&C ISH using the Employer Incentive Scheme function outlined in the Rehabilitation Delegate Step by Step Guide in CLIK.