Workplace modification assessment is a process that is used to identify and assess the needs of employees with disabilities. The purpose of workplace modification assessment is to ensure that employees with disabilities have access to the same level of opportunities and resources as other employees, and to help employers create a work environment that is diverse and inclusive – and welcoming for all employees. Modification assessment is a subjective process, and employers should consult an experienced professional to ensure that the needs of all employees are identified.
Workplace modification assessment in Australia has a number of purposes, which include:
- identifying how an employee’s disability affects their ability to complete certain tasks;
- identifying any physical modifications needed to the workplace in order to accommodate the employee (including job redesign if necessary);
- outlining changes that need to be made to the employee’s work schedule or duties in order to accommodate their disability;
- providing the employee with a reasonable accommodation plan that will allow them to continue working in a safe and productive manner.
In some cases, workplace modification assessment may also identify the need for the employee to receive additional training in order to be able to safely and effectively complete their job duties. If this is the case, the employer should provide the necessary training at no cost to the employee.
How workplace modifications assessments are conducted
Workplace assessments for workplace modifications are conducted in a number of ways. One common way is through functional assessments. Such assessments are performed by occupational therapists who assess how an individual performs their job tasks and identify any functional limitations. They then recommend modifications to the workplace or equipment that can help the individual to better perform their job tasks, as well as ensure that the working environment is safe and its conditions (including mental health conditions) do not lead to any injuries or illness.
Another way workplace assessments are conducted for workplace modifications is through workplace audits. Workplace audits are performed by health and safety professionals, who assess the workplace to identify any potential hazards and risks. They then recommend modifications to the workplace or equipment that can help to minimise these risks to achieve better safety and injury prevention.
Both functional assessments and workplace audits are important in ensuring that workplaces are safe and functional for employees.
When workplace modification assessment is conducted, it is important to keep in mind that every individual is different; therefore, the process should be tailored to take into account each individual’s needs and requirements. The length of time that workplace modification assessment takes will vary depending on the extent of the changes needed and the number of employees involved.
The Australian government offers a number of resources for employers who want to conduct workplace modification assessments. These include:
- the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport, which provide guidance on how to make public transport accessible for people with disabilities;
- the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), which provides funding for reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities; and
- the Australian Human Rights Commission’s website, which provides supporting information on how to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act.
When conducting workplace modification assessment, employers must keep information about an employee’s disability confidential and consult employees as appropriate throughout the process.
The process of workplace modification assessment in Australia is also governed by regulations outlined in the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, which helps to ensure that all employees are working in a safe environment. Under this legislation, employers must consult with employees about any identified risks to their health and safety at work before making any changes to their duties, workplace, or schedule.
It is important for employers to remember that they have a duty of care under this legislation; if an employee is injured as a result of workplace modification assessment, the employer may be liable for the injury of illness and find themselves subject to legal action and fines.
Employers who conduct workplace modification assessment in Australia can be confident that they are meeting their legal obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act and Work Health and Safety Act. The process of workplace modification assessment can be tailored to meet the individual needs of each employee, and employers are encouraged to consult with employees as appropriate throughout the process. By following these guidelines, employers can ensure that they are providing a safe and productive working environment for all employees.
How can Employment Assistance Fund (EAF) assist with workplace modifications for better disability employment outcomes
Employment Assistance Fund (EAF) aims at assisting people with disability in finding and keeping employment. People who are eligible for the Employment Assistance Fund (EAF) support can access different types of service including workplace assessments, the provision of equipment (for example, to improve office ergonomics), and training (including disability awareness training).
One of the EAF’s main services is their On-Site Workplace Assessment program. This program is a service that provides people with disability with an opportunity to have a workplace assessment done in their current or potential workplace.
The EAF also offer a Workplace Modification Service, which can assist people with disability to stay in the workforce with the right equipment to suit their workplace needs.
The fund also aims at assisting people with disability in finding and keeping employment in various ways. These including by providing support for individuals to prepare themselves for work through case management or personal assistance; providing job placement services to people with disability; helping employers recruit and retain people with disability by offering assistance with workplace modification; assigning Employment Assistance Fund (EAF) staff to work as part of the hiring team, or providing workplace assessments.
Government assistance for workplace modifications assessment ( and workplace modifications)
There are a number of development programs available to businesses in Australia that help with the cost of workplace modifications. The most popular program is Accesses Funding. This program provides up to $10,000 for small businesses and up to $50,000 for medium and large businesses to make necessary changes to their workplace. Businesses need to have an established development program that has been approved by the government in order to qualify for development funding.
There are also a number of other development programs available to businesses in Australia.
The Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business has a range of programs that can help businesses with the cost of workplace modifications. These programs include the:
- Employer Assistance Program;
- Young Australian’s Boost;
- Training Guarantee for Small Business;
- Retailer Relocation Scheme;
- Carparking Scheme for Accredited Employers.
The development programs are accessible online and can be found on the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Enterprise website. Each program has different eligibility criteria that need to be met by businesses who want access funding. For businesses who want to apply for development funding, the online application form is available through Accesses Funding.
In order to receive funding from Accesses Funding, businesses need to have an established development program that has been approved by the government. Such a program can be started by a business when they work with a development agent or organisation that provides development services. There are many agencies that provide such services to businesses in Australia. The development agency can help businesses decide on a development program and work with the government to set up their programs.
Development agents can also help businesses submit their online application for access funding from Accesses Funding. In order to submit the online application, businesses need to have a development program that has been approved by the government. The development program needs to cover all development needs businesses have and provide detailed information on how the funds will be used. Businesses also need to provide a development plan that explains how development will enhance their workplace and contains key information on what activities they want to undertake if their application is approved.
All development agents can provide services to all businesses in Australia, regardless of their needs. The development agent can work with a development officer from the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Enterprise to set up development and rehabilitation plans for their clients. They can also help clients complete their applications online for access development funding from Accesses Funding.
Business owners who use development agents can also access development services online and are able to talk to development officers directly through the Accesses Funding website. These officers offer quality advice on how businesses can meet their development needs and complete development applications online.
Business owners that do not use development agents are still able to access development services online.
For any additional information about the workplace modification assessment process, please contact us at Optimal Support today!