- GN 3.1 Initial notification of injury
- GN 3.2 Initial liability decision - provisional, reasonable excuse or full liability
- GN 3.3 Certificate of capacity
- GN 3.4 Pre-approval of treatment
- GN 3.5 Injury management plans
- GN 3.6 Investigating changes in capacity
- GN 3.7 Case conferencing
- GN 3.8 Rehabilitation services during case management
- GN 3.9 Work capacity assessments and decisions
- GN 3.10 Section 39 notification
- GN 3.11 Section 59A
- GN 3.12 Surveillance
- GN 3.13 Factual investigations
- GN 5.1A Calculating PIAWE
- GN 5.1 Calculating PIAWE for workers injured before 21 October 2019
- GN 5.2A Calculating weekly payments
- GN 5.2 Calculating weekly payments for workers injured before 21 October 2019
- GN 5.3 Making weekly payments
- GN 5.4 Weekly payments after the second entitlement period
- GN 5.5 Payments to workers with highest needs
- GN 5.6 Weekly payments for exempt workers
- GN 5.7 Permanent impairment
- GN 5.8 Property damage
- GN 5.9 Domestic assistance
- GN 5.10 Commutations
- GN 5.11 Compensation and other work entitlements
- GN 5.12 Death claims
- GN 6.1 Determining liability for medical and related treatment
- GN 6.2 Surgery
- GN 6.3 Nominated treating doctor and specialists
- GN 6.4 Allied health practitioners
- GN 6.5 Independent consultants
- GN 6.6 Referral to an injury management consultant
- GN 6.7 Aids and modifications
- GN 6.8 Independent medical examinations
GN 7.4 JobCover placement program
Application: This guidance applies in part to exempt workers
The JobCover placement program provides incentives to employers to employ a worker who has a work-related injury and who is unable to return to work with their pre-injury employer. The worker is employed in accordance with industrial relations procedures and work health safety legislation.
The program is designed to offset the cost of engaging a worker with an existing injury.
The JobCover placement program provides the new employer with:
- incentive payments of up to $27,400 for up to 12 months
- exemption of the worker's wages from their workers compensation premium calculation for two years
- protection against the costs of changes to the worker’s existing injury for up to two years.
The program benefits can be used individually, as a combination, or as a total package to meet the needs of the employer and worker.
A worker is eligible if:
- at the time of program commencement, they are receiving, or are entitled to receive, weekly payments under Part 3, Division 2 of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 (1987 Act)
- they are unable to return to work with their pre-injury employer
- a commutation or work injury damages settlement has not been accepted.
An employer may be eligible if they:
- are a different employer to the pre-injury employer
- hold a current workers compensation policy or a self-insurer’s licence
- are not grouped with the pre-injury employer for workers compensation insurance or insured under the same group self-insurer licence as the pre-injury employer
- provide a minimum of 64 paid hours per month or a return to pre-injury hours (fewer hours may be considered if it can be demonstrated that the worker will progress to meet this requirement within a reasonable timeframe)
- have offered employment for a minimum of 12 months
- the employer is not in receipt of any other wage subsidy for the worker
- can demonstrate adherence to their jurisdiction’s workers compensation and workplace health and safety legislation.
Note: A Commonwealth or interstate employer is eligible for the program however they are not eligible for the premium exemption due to the different insurance arrangements between Australian jurisdictions.
If a worker is injured when working with more than one employer, the employer that is not associated with the workers compensation claim may be eligible to utilise the program if they can offer additional hours of work and meet eligibility requirements.
If a worker obtains employment with two employers at the same time, the program can only be offered to one employer.
If an employer seeks to utilise the program for more than one worker at the same time, there must be evidence that work will be ongoing for the workers involved.
Employer incentive payment
The employer incentive payment is designed to offset the costs associated with engaging and training a new worker.
The payment is payable over the first 52 weeks of work, up to a maximum amount of $27,400.
The maximum amount payable is:
- $400 per week for weeks 1 to 12 (maximum of $4,800)
- $500 per week for weeks 13 to 26 (maximum $7,000)
- $600 per week for weeks 27 to 52 (maximum $15,600).
The employer incentive payment is claimed by the employer at the end of weeks 12, 26 and 52 respectively.
Payments are calculated on a weekly basis. The amount paid will be either the gross weekly wage paid to the worker, or the weekly maximum amount as set out above should the gross wage exceed the weekly incentive payment amount. The amount does not include superannuation and allowances.
Wage exemption from premium calculation
Workers compensation insurance premiums are based on a number of factors, including the amount of wages an employer pays to their workers.
The program’s wage exemption benefit provides protection to the new employer from an increase to their premium as a result of wages paid to the worker. This means the worker’s wages are not included in the new employer’s workers compensation premium calculations for two years (ie two policy periods).
Protection from costs associated with the existing injury
A new employer is exempt from the costs of changes occurring to the worker’s existing injury during the first two years of their employment.
Note: This exemption does not apply if, for example, the employer engages a worker with a shoulder injury and they later sustain a knee injury – the new employer is liable for the costs of the new injury (knee injury), and the costs would be included in their next premium calculation.
Change of employer
The benefits of the program are not transferable between employers. However, if employment ceases and the worker remains eligible for the program, the program may be offered to a new employer.
Preparing for the JobCover placement program
If it is decided that a JobCover placement program would help support a worker to gain work with a new employer, the insurer should confirm the worker’s eligibility for the program by including it in the worker’s injury management plan.
The insurer is responsible for notifying the worker and workplace rehabilitation provider (provider) if eligibility for the program changes.
For some workers, it may be suitable to use a work trial prior to commencement of the JobCover placement program.
If immediate or short-term barriers prevent the worker from starting work, the insurer should investigate their eligibility for new employment assistance (under section 64B of the 1987 Act – note this does not apply to exempt workers) and/or the transition to work program.
Note: The insurer or workplace rehabilitation provider (if involved) should ensure the job-seeking worker can explain the JobCover placement program benefits and eligibility criteria to a potential employer. This downloadable fact sheet is a helpful resource.
Suitability of the role
In some circumstances, a provider will conduct a workplace assessment to match the capacity of the worker to the essential job requirements and assess the worker’s ability to perform the tasks safely.
Where specific equipment or workplace modifications are required this should be discussed with the insurer. Where eligible, the worker may access new employment assistance (under section 64B of the 1987 Act - note this does not apply to exempt workers) and/or equipment and workplace modifications.
Where specific skills, certification, or licences are required for the role, the insurer should investigate the worker’s eligibility for education and training assistance (under section 64C of the 1987 Act - note this does not apply to exempt workers) and/or the training program.
Suitability of the employer
An employer may not be eligible for the program if a professional or personal relationship between the proposed new employer and the worker is likely to give rise to a conflict of interest. This is particularly important where the new employer has a provider-client relationship or is a member of the worker’s family.
If a potential conflict of interest is identified, the provider is to assess suitability for the JobCover placement program and discuss this with the insurer. The person completing the agreement form should outline why the program should proceed as well as the strategies that will be implemented to address the conflict of interest.
Types of employment
The JobCover placement program is designed to secure durable employment for the worker that continues beyond the 12 months of employer incentive payments. A variety of employment arrangements are considered suitable. These include:
- full or part-time work
- casual, labour hire or contract arrangements where the work is ongoing, and where there is a formal agreement with the employer
- temporary, where there is a fixed-term agreement greater than 12 months.
The following employment arrangements are not considered suitable under the program:
- seasonal work
- temporary, where there is no fixed-term agreement or the agreement is less than 12 months
- establishment of a small business or other self-employment arrangement.
Confirmation should be obtained in writing from the new employer (eg a letter of offer of employment or contract).
When the worker and new employer’s eligibility is confirmed, a JobCover placement program – agreement should be completed and signed by the worker, new employer and the insurer before the worker commences employment.
The person responsible for completing the agreement form should ensure all parties:
- understand the program benefits being used
- agree to their roles and responsibilities
- have completed and signed the form
- receive a copy of the signed agreement form and a copy of the guidance material.
The insurer must sign the agreement before the worker starts work to ensure:
- access to the selected program benefits, and
- all parties are aware of their obligations.
There is a risk that the employer may not receive the expected program benefits if the insurer has not confirmed that all requirements have been met before the worker starts work.
Note: Use the JobCover program checklist to ensure all requirements outlined in this guidance material have been considered.
Accessing the incentive payment
The employer incentive payment is claimed by (and paid directly to) the new employer as a lump sum at the end of 12, 26 and 52 weeks respectively.
The new employer must:
- complete a JobCover placement program – employer incentive payment claim form
- attach a copy of the signed JobCover placement program - agreement as well as evidence of the worker’s weekly gross wage for each week in the employment period being claimed
- submit the payment claim no more than 12 weeks from the last day of each employment period
- only claim for wages paid to the worker, this includes paid annual/recreational/sick leave
- not claim any other employer incentive payment for the worker from another agency (eg another labour market wage subsidy program or any other employer incentive payment programs).
The employer should submit the documents to:
- the insurer who signed the agreement form where the pre-injury employer’s insurer is a Nominal Insurer scheme agent, or
- SIRA at firstname.lastname@example.org where the pre-injury employer’s insurer is a self-insurer, specialised insurer or an agent for icare Insurance for NSW.
Note: An employer cannot claim for payments made to the worker when the worker is absent from work and in receipt of weekly workers compensation payments.
If employment arrangements change and a worker is no longer employed before the completion of the 52 weeks, the incentive payable will be calculated on the number of weeks that the worker has been employed. For example, if a worker is employed for 22 weeks, the maximum incentive payable to the employer would be $400 per week for the first 12 weeks and $500 per week for the next 10 weeks.
Payment should only be made where there is evidence of the worker’s wages. The insurer/agent must have controls in place to prevent duplicate payments being made and claimed.
Nominal insurer reimbursement
The Nominal Insurer can request reimbursement from SIRA for program costs.
All claims for reimbursement must be substantiated. Substantiated means programs are approved and supported by appropriate evidence of the expenses.
Reimbursements from SIRA can be claimed by a tax invoice. The invoice should be accompanied by an itemised breakdown of the costs incurred by claim and program type.
For more information about making a claim for reimbursement email email@example.com.
Accessing wage exemption from premium calculation
This benefit is accessed when the employer declares wages at the end of their workers compensation policy period.
The worker's wages are exempt from the employer’s workers compensation premium calculation for a period of two years. The employer is not required to include the worker’s wages in the wages declaration to the insurer.
The employer should retain a copy of the completed JobCover placement program – agreement and wage records for every worker they engage under the program as evidence that the program has been used. The employer should contact their insurer for further information regarding premium calculation.
Change in circumstances
If there is a significant change in circumstance that may affect eligibility for the program (for example, the worker resigns from the job or the employer ceases trading), the pre-injury employer’s insurer must be notified within seven days of becoming aware of the change.
Where a worker’s weekly payments cease after the program commences, the program may continue and the employer will still be eligible for all of the agreed benefits.
If ongoing claim liability is disputed following program commencement, or the worker accepts a commutation or work injury damages settlement, the insurer must advise SIRA immediately. If this occurs, it is up to SIRA to decide whether to continue to make incentive payments to the employer.
In response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, SIRA has made modifications to the JobCover placement program.
For employers who have employed a worker using the JobCover Placement program but need to scale back or close their workplaces temporarily due to the impact of COVID-19, the duration of the placement program for the worker will be increased to accommodate that period of impact.
- Proactively contact the worker to see if their circumstances have changed due to the impact of COVID-19 and contact the new employer to advise of the continuance of the program once business operations resume
- Re-negotiate the end date of the Jobcover placement agreement with the employer when known
- Advise employers to keep a record of the period of changed operations to support their claim for the incentive payments when their business operations resume, along with the usual proof of payment of wages to the worker.