COVID-19 has presented employment challenges for many people. The increased health risk coupled with industry restrictions has resulted in redundancies, reduced hours and turmoil in businesses all across Australia.

For People with Disability, the health risks, constant changes and uncertainty has left many feeling overwhelmed and unable to perform at the new standards now required by their employers. As a result, a number of these vulnerable individuals have had their hours reduced, or in some cases, completely lost their job. 

As Coronavirus continues to challenge Governments, corporations and individuals across the globe, it’s important now more than ever that we support those in need to ensure everyone can get to the other side of this crisis.

For people with disability that find them selves in a situation like the one described above, it may be worth considering Work Assist as one of those needed supports.

 

What is Work Assist? 

Work Assist is a free service that provides support to eligible employees who have difficulty fulfilling the essential requirements of their role due to a disability, injury or health condition. If an employee is struggling to perform their normal duties due, a DES provider like breakthru will work with them to maximise support to ensure the participant can work comfortably and without risk of losing their job.  

The following are 5 ways Work Assist can help someone stay working while living with a disability: 

 

Assist with Workplace Improvements and Modifications 

There are many innovative ways that a workplace can be modified to support a worker with disability. In many circumstances your workplace may only need some minor modifications, while in other cases you may need more specialised consultants to provide help. 

Where minor to moderate modifications are required, Work Assist can directly help with improvements such as: 

  • Minor changes to the workplace to be more accessible, such as an adjustable sitting or standing desk.  
  • Team awareness and training to be more informed about the disability 
  • Employer Support via regular phone and face to face consultations. 
  • On-the-job training and support 

Work Assist can also facilitate more complex modifications in coordination with Occupational Therapists and other similar service providers, such as: 

  • Special tools, equipment or communication technology 
  • Adapting workplace vehicles and technology 

Intensive or Specialised Supports

There are many reasons why someone may struggle to efficiently perform their role at work. Work Assist links people with a disability, injury or health condition with a wide range of more specialised services such as (but not limited to): 

  • Psychology & Clinical Counselling for mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety 
  • Behavioural Support to assist with anger management and other behavioural issues 
  • Occupational Therapy/Physiotherapy, which is generally for neck, back, shoulder, knee and leg injuries 
  • Pain Management Services  

Face-to-Face Support 

It is important for Work Assist participants to feel heard. Work Assist, like that which breakthru provides, is a personalised support system that can be given face-to-face, over the phone or online using video call. The participant will receive ongoing support in and out of the workplace to ensure that they can comfortably overcome any hurdles of working with a disability while maintaining their job. 

 

Workplace Education & Support

By working with a participant, their colleagues and employer, Work Assist can help to create an encouraging and informed workplace which considers their needs. This can include visiting their workplace for on the job support and spending a few hours a week helping with their work tasks.  Often this can involve problem solving areas that they are struggling with in their work, taking time to observe and work alongside them to understand key contributors to these areas and providing a range of solutions.  

 

Am I Eligible? 

To be eligible for Work Assist: 

  • You must be struggling at work or at risk of losing your job due to a diagnosed disability, injury or health condition 
  • You must be currently employed 
  • You should be working at least 8 hours a week for the last 13 consecutive weeks 
  • You aren’t already getting assistance from a Disability Employment Services provider 
  • You are an Australian resident or temporary protection visa holder 
  • You are not studying full time 
  • You are at least 14 years of age but have not attained Age Pension qualifying age 

 

How to Apply for Work Assist with breakthru 

With over 26 years of experience supporting people with disability behind us, we understand just how stressful a new work environment can be, so we’re here to help!  

Our experienced support consultants will meet and listen to you to understand the barriers that you face in your workplace. We will then work together, along with your employer (which is optional) to bring ongoing support and strategies to overcome these obstacles.   

To find out how you can access Work Assist contact one of our friendly staff today

Nathaniel

Nathaniel has a Bachelor of Communications from Western Sydney University and is a Marketing Assistant at breakthru.

Through his experience of having family and friends with disability, Nathaniel was deeply inspired to support and help give a voice to people with disability so that they can have the best quality of life possible.
Nathaniel

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