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12.3.2 VVRS rehabilitation program
This topic relates to section 3.2 of the VVRS Instrument.
Maintenance of veterans in employment, or if they are having difficulties coping with their current work
The VVRS provides assistance to veterans who require it to retain employment that is at risk. The Scheme is not intended to remove the normal obligations people have to keep themselves up to date in their field of employment.
Where a veteran is having difficulty at work, he or she should be advised to attempt to resolve the difficulties through the mechanisms that exist in their workplace. For example, many employees have rights, and access, to grievance procedures, occupational health and safety mechanisms or internal counselling services. Veterans should utilise these in the first instance. Unsuccessful attempts to utilise these services may require the Rehabilitation Service Provider to act in an advocacy role to ensure that veterans receive the services to which they are entitled. The VVRS is not intended to duplicate other services to which veterans are entitled.
As VAN and VVCS staff will generally be the first point of contact with veterans who are having difficulties as a result of their employment, they are expected to explore the options available to the veteran prior to discussing assistance through the VVRS.
A veteran feels vulnerable in his job in a competitive environment. He won the job from a large number of other applicants only through purchasing expensive new text books and as a result of doing his own study over many years. He is seeking assistance to undertake training to keep up-to-date to retain his job.
In approaching this case, an assessment would be needed that the veteran's continued employment is at risk.
If the Rehabilitation Service Provider determines that the veteran's employment is at risk, an assessment will be needed to identify assistance which could usefully be provided. For instance, the veteran may need assistance in dealing with the effects of the stress of the situation. Other options for assistance could include assistance with training. It may be possible to make this assessment at the same time as the assessment of the security of employment.
Assistance with training costs
If assistance with training costs is being examined as an option, factors to be considered include:
- Is the veteran's job at risk if the course is not undertaken?
- How likely is it that the veteran will keep his or her job if the VVRS sponsors the training?
- Is the training what would normally be expected of employees in terms of keeping their skill levels up? **
If the answer is 'Yes' and the veteran is in full-time employment, the veteran would be expected to meet the costs, subject to the consideration of the veteran's ability to pay. (With part-time employment, the provision of additional training may enable the client to obtain additional hours of work, so it would depend upon individual circumstances.)
- Are there cheaper courses available that would do the same thing?
** Be aware that there is a difference between 'maintaining credentials as part of day to day work requirements' and the need to 'retrain due to a new rule change'.
Examples of the difference between 'maintaining credentials as part of day to day work requirements' and the need to 'retrain due to a new rule change' are:
- An accountant needs to keep up with the tax laws etc to satisfactorily perform his/her job.
- The legal requirement to hold trade papers in Small Engine Mechanics has recently been introduced. Someone who is already employed in the service, maintenance and repair of small engines and outdoor power equipment prior to this law would need to obtain this qualification in order to legally undertake their duties.
Scenario (1.) is an example of a 'requirement to maintain credentials', while scenario (2.) is an example of an 'unexpected rule change'.
Elements not normally included in an approved program
Examples of items generally not included in an approved program:
- job interview costs, though some might be covered as a 'special circumstance' if the veteran has to travel a significant distance to attend the interview
- tools of trade
- clothing for employment
- any costs which are considered 'employee tax deductions'.
Psychosocial and medical management services
Medical management and psychosocial services may be included in a rehabilitation program under s3.2.2A if the services are reasonably required to:
a) assist the veteran to achieve or retain suitable paid employment; or
b) address an identified rehabilitation barrier as part of the process of assisting the veteran to achieve or retain suitable paid employment.
Further information can be found in 12.4 ‘Psychosocial rehabilitation’.
Failure to comply with an approved plan or approved program
Grounds for cessation of a veteran's participation in the VVRS may include continually failing to attend appointments with Rehabilitation Service Providers.
If the Rehabilitation Service Provider is to recommend to the VVRS Coordinator to determine that a veteran is no longer participating in, or undertaking, a vocational program because:
- the veteran has, without reasonable cause, failed to comply with, or participate in, an important element of an approved plan or vocational rehabilitation program;
- is not capable of completing an approved program (2.3.2 of the VVRS Instrument);
- the veteran is unable to be contacted for a period of at least a month, by the Rehabilitation Service Provider and the VVRS Coordinator has notified the veteran in writing that rehabilitation activities will cease unless the veteran makes contact with their Provider or the Coordinator within one month after the date of the letter; or
- the veteran fails to complete or participate in the rehabilitation process from the initial application stage through to the rehabilitation program approval process (In this situation, the veteran is deemed as a non-participant for program purposes. Veterans wishing to be considered for rehabilitation are obliged to comply with the initial assessment process);
the Rehabilitation Service Provider will prepare a recommendation to the VVRS Coordinator giving reasons for the termination or non-acceptance onto the Scheme.