What is the Supported Wages System?
Supported Wage System (SWS) is a Workplace Relations mechanism that allows employers to pay a productivity based wage that matches an independently assessed work productivity rate.
It is designed to encourage employers to hire workers who are unable to gain or maintain job at full wage rates due to the effect of a disability or impairment on their level of work productivity.
The Australian Government contracts a panel of independent assessors to conduct workplace productivity assessments for employers who wish to employ a person with a disability under this mechanism.
A new (or in some instances existing) employee must receive the minimum allowable payment under SWS of $82/per week, regardless of hours worked (min. 8 to max. 38) each week for a trial period of 3 months.
During this time, the employee is supported by a Workplace Support Officer to maximise their performance at the worksite.
The DES Provider (The Personnel Group), organises the lodging of assessment paperwork with the appropriate government department, and an independent Assessor is allocated to the worksite.
The assessment consists of the Assessor observing and timing the same tasks undertaken by a ‘fully able’ employee (or the DES Workplace Support Officer), then the employee undertakes the tasks.
A minimum of three timings on each duty is undertaken to determine the average productivity of the employee. The compilation of the timings of each task is averaged, and always rounded up to the next 10%, i.e. an employee who is assessed at 53% or 57% will be rounded up to 60% productivity.
The employer then pays the employee 60% of the applicable Award wage or $82 which ever is the higher.
The employee’s productivity is then reviewed every 12 months.