Workbridge, where abilities equal employment.
 

Job Support

Application form

PDF version: Job Support application form

Job Support application - accessible version: Job Support application form - accessible version

Applications can be filled in on-line but need to be printed and signed by the applicant.

What is Job Support?

Job Support helps people moving into employment as well as assisting people who are in employment to stay in their jobs when they have an onset of a disability or a worsening condition.

Job Support funding is available for, but not limited to:

  • workplace assessments to establish the level of workplace support required
  • modifications to a workplace
  • job coaching (generally short-term) to assist the disabled person learn a new job, if their disability means they require extra assistance or a different format for learning the role
  • purchase of additional work related physical support
  • NZ Sign Language interpreter services - for Deaf or hearing impaired people
  • special equipment to accommodate a person's disability
  • additional costs of transport and parking, over and above the costs that a person without a disability would have
  • a support person to provide on-the-job guidance and instruction to the employee
  • Productivity Allowances designed to provide maximum support at the commencement of a job and then gradually fade out. Each Productivity Allowance is tailored to the individual's needs
  • induction training that is required because of the person's disability, or assistance with your standard induction programme to make it accessible to a new disabled employee
  • disability awareness training for colleagues to promote a smooth entry into the workplace for both the disabled employee and other employees.

The scheme is flexible so please discuss your disability support needs with Workbridge. Support Funds may be able to assist.

The Job Support funding limit for each individual is $16,900 in any 12 month period. The $16,900 limit is inclusive of any other Work and Income grants or subsidies being received for similar purposes, e.g. Skills Investment Subsidies, or Modification Grants.

Eligibility criteria

Open employment

The applicant must be in open employment. Open employment means that the applicant has a job that would be available to anyone with the required skills. The job will be fully integrated into a workplace where a mix of disabled and non-disabled employees work. Workbridge may assess an employment setting to determine whether an applicant meets the open employment criteria.

An Employment Contract for employees must be in place that meets the conditions of the Employment Relations Act 2000.

There are four wage rate considerations:

  1. The applicant must be receiving at least the minimum wage rate.
  2. The applicant must be receiving the going rate of pay for the job or position held.
  3. The wage must reflect the applicant's productivity after any support services have been provided
  4. If the applicant is receiving piece rates, they must earning the minimum wage.

Self Employment

Confirmation of wages is required. Applicants will need to provide evidence of drawings at least equal to the minimum wage for each hour worked. This can be done by the production of the following financial information:

  • if the business has been operating less than a year, a business plan, together with a current trading account, and cash flow projections for the next three years
  • if the business has been operating more than one year, an audited profit and loss statement and trading account.

Applicants in self employment are required to spend a minimum of 20 hours personal effort per week in the business.

When disabled people are in self employment, including group co-operatives, they must be in control of the business (it must not be controlled by a support agency or any other person). The applicant must be the primary decision-maker of the business and must receive the net returns of the business. If the business is a group co-operative, the net returns must be received by the co-operative workers with disabilities.

Any agency or consultancy involvement in the business must be on a contractual basis for specific services which relate to the cost of the disability.

The group cannot be funded by any other government-funded programme to provide the same work opportunities.

Productivity Allowance

A Productivity Allowance is a wage subsidy to compensate an employer for lowered productivity due to an employee's disability.

All Productivity Allowances have a fade-out plan that reduces 5% every six months.

The maximum period for this wage subsidy is generally 52 weeks at which time the employee will need to reapply if they want the subsidy to continue.

The job can be full-time or part-time.

The job must:

  • Be a vacancy that any person can apply for.
  • Meet the minimum terms and conditions of employment (such as minimum wages), and
  • Not be funded by the Government for the same activity.

There is an expectation that the employee will gain or retain unsubsidised employment.

Employers cannot be reliant on a Productivity Allowance to ensure the viability of their business.

A person's employment cannot be dependent on the provision of a Productivity Allowance.

Job coaches

Job coaches are engaged by the person receiving Job Support. The contract is between the job coach and the Job Support recipient. If Workbridge assists in finding a job coach for a particular Job Support recipient, Workbridge is acting as the agent for the Job Support recipient, but is not itself contracting with the job coach.

Job coaches are engaged as independent contractors and not as employees of the Job Support recipient. Payments are made directly to the job coach.

The Public Sector

Job Support Funds are available to people employed in the State Sector. However, State Sector employers must meet the statutory 'good employer' provisions of the State Sector Act 1988, before applications can be considered.

Mainstream Supported Employment Programme

Participants in the State Services Commission Mainstream Programme are not eligible for Job Support Funds assistance through the Support Fund administered by Workbridge.

The Mainstream Programme has an equivalent support scheme called 'Cost of Disability in Employment' (CODE), available to assist participants. For more information on the CODE scheme, visit the Ministry of Social Development website: www.mainstream.msd.govt.nz or call Mainstream Programme, Ministry of Social Development, phone 0800 559-009.

The MSD Job Support Fund Operational Guidelines

This handbook outlines Operational Policy in respect of the Job Support Fund only. You are able to access it from here.

Completed applications can be posted to the Workbridge Central Processing Unit (CPU), PO Box 30-341, Lower Hutt 5040, delivered to any Workbridge Centre, or emailed to

cpu@workbridge.co.nz

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