Protect Your Staff and Your Business

Posted: by Jock McNamara

If you are an employer looking to support a valued staff member who may be encountering health problems, assistance from Disability Employment Service (DES) Providers is available to enable them to remain at work.

Under the Job in Jeopardy Assistance program, DES providers can access and provide a range of services to help keep employees in their job. Employers and staff can approach any DES provider and ask for assistance to see if they are eligible.

Eligibility is based around providing immediate and appropriate support to a person in employment who is at risk of losing their employment due to the impact of their injury, disability or health condition.

Types of assistance can vary from providing workplace modifications, to helping the employee access medical and professional help, or providing training course assistance. A plan is formulated to suit the staff member and employer’s needs and provide a mutually beneficial solution.

Chantelle Connolly, owner of Well and Good Wholesale in Evans Head comments: “We found it enormously helpful to the business to have the support for our employee which means we can keep their job open for them without the business suffering, which as a small business we simply couldn’t afford.”

In this instance an EPIC staff member with hospitality experience provided on the job training and support to teach new tasks to the relatively new staff member experiencing some health issues. The aim of the free program is to provide support to enable an employee to build their capacity to maintain their employment, resulting in a better outcome for all concerned.

An example of where Job in Jeopardy Assistance has been successful is with young trainees and apprentices at EPIC Assist whose learning disability meant struggling to complete their course. EPIC helped them access extra support at TAFE, including implementing a staff member attending classes and assessments, and helping them complete their modules.

The program also helped a person suffering depression after the loss of a family member to access counselling, as well as provide general moral support and guidance until they were able to return to normal duties. The employer was very supportive and with EPIC’s help through Job in Jeopardy Assistance, they were able to better understand what was occurring and provide the necessary support and adjustment while they recovered.

Another use for Job in Jeopardy Assistance is to assist a person who has suffered either a temporary or permanent physical injury and cannot continue their usual duties. DES providers can assist with advice on redesigning the job role and duties, and through Job Access, can arrange and pay for workplace modifications.

The strength of an organisation lies within its people, keeping them in work is better for everyone. For further information please contact Jock McNamara on (02) 6643 4542 or email Jock.McNamara@epicassist.org

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