From 4 March 2013, Work Solutions Gippsland has had the capacity to assist an employee of your business who may be experiencing challenges in the workplace due to an existing or recently acquired disability, injury or health condition. In the disability employment services sector, this service is referred to as “Job in Jeopardy”.

It is important to note that an employee who has suffered a “work-related” injury or illness is not eligible for this service.

There are approximately four million people (20% of population) who identify as having one or more disabilities in Australia, a figure that is increasing as our population ages. Around 2.2 million people of working age (15 – 64 years) have a disability. These figures are generally thought to be an underestimation of the real number of people with a disability. These figures suggest that there are many people working alongside us with a disability enjoying successful and fulfilling careers and making significant contributions to their workplace and community.

Employees with a disability, injury or health condition may need specialist assistance to ensure they remain productive and happy in the workplace. Staff retention is among one of the biggest challenges for businesses of any size. According to the Australian Human Resources Institute’s latest HRpulse survey, staff turnover costs to Australian business have increased to $20 billion per annum. The cost of replacing an employee was in the order of 150 percent of salary when recruitment, training, specialist knowledge and productivity are included in the cost.

Work Solutions Gippsland through its GEMAD Charter can assist your business retain its greatest asset by providing advice and assistance in a variety of areas including the Job in Jeopardy Program, workplace modifications, flexible work practices, disability awareness training, job customization and advice relating to the Government incentives & financial assistance available to employers.

This will ultimately have a positive impact on your business.

The benefits of staff retention are obvious, there’s the ‘cost per hire’ saving, higher employee satisfaction, greater productivity and job knowledge and improved succession planning. The benefits of retaining staff with a disability are even greater. With one in five people in Australia having a disability, many of your clients and customers will also be people with disability. Having a workforce that reflects the diversity of the wider community can lead to greater customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Here are a couple of case studies to assist you in deciding if the Job in Jeopardy program is right for your business.

Case Study 1

Following periodic absences and issues around punctuality at work, a valued employee of a local hardware store disclosed to his employer that he had been diagnosed with a mental health condition. His new medication regime imposed some difficulties on maintaining full-time work and early morning starts.

With assistance from Work Solutions Gippsland:

  • The employee’s hours were slightly reduced whilst ensuring the needs of the business were maintained
  • Basic mental health training was provided to all staff
  • The employee’s hours gradually increased back to full time
  • The workplace culture was enhanced with staff reporting they felt supported by management

Case study 2

After many years of employment in a large transport company this female employee was diagnosed as having Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Her administration duties were not at all affected by her condition, however the fact that her office was upstairs was proving a challenge as her condition worsened. At this point she had not disclosed her condition to her employer. The employee contacted Work Solutions Gippsland with a view of seeking alternative employment in an administration role where the environment was more conducive to her limited mobility.

  • Work Solutions Gippsland arranged to meet with the employee and her employer and discussed options to relocate her office to the ground floor
  • The Commonwealth Government’s Workplace Modification scheme assisted the employer financially to relocate the employee’s office downstairs
  • The employee’s job was maintained with minimal disruption to the workplace
  • Co-workers were provided with information on MS in turn building on their disability awareness

Both employees and employers can make contact with Work Solutions Gippsland if they feel they meet the criteria for the Job in Jeopardy program.

For further information on the Job in Jeopardy program, please contact our Job in Jeopardy Manager, Michelle Seymour on 0407 901 534 or email michelles@wsgipps.com.au.