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May 07, 2024 • 9 min read

Work Trial and Job Cover Placement Program

Discover how these programs help job seekers and incentivise employers to support returning workers.

Written by: Stephen Zeng

A work trial offers a structured, short-term work experience that helps injured workers gradually return to the workforce. Typically, a work trial lasts between 4 to 5 weeks, but the duration can be adjusted based on what the worker needs and the employer’s availability.

Work Trial Program Overview

Work trials are designed to be mutually beneficial. They provide distinct advantages that help workers regain their professional footing, while also allowing employers to strategically enhance their workforce. Here is a detailed examination of how both parties can qualify for these work trials:

Advantages for Returning Workers

  • Getting Your Foot in the Door: Whether returning to a familiar field or exploring a new industry, a work trial provides the perfect opportunity to re-enter the workforce.
  • Skill Refresh: For those who haven’t worked in a while, a work trial is a chance to refresh old skills and get used to daily work routines again.
  • Boosting Confidence: Being part of a work trial can significantly increase your confidence, making the transition back to regular employment smoother.
  • Learning and Upskilling: Every work trial is a learning opportunity. You’ll meet new people and learn new skills, broadening your professional abilities.
  • Building Relationships: Develop positive work relationships and earn references that will be invaluable in your future job searches.
  • Networking: Use this time to tap into the host employer’s network, potentially opening doors to future job opportunities.

Advantages for Host Employers

  • Access to Specialised Skills: Employers can bring in workers with specific skill sets needed for short-term projects, benefiting their business without a long-term commitment.
  • Evaluating Fit: A work trial allows employers to assess a worker’s performance, work ethic, and how well they fit into the company culture before making a decision on permanent employment.
  • Cost Savings: You won’t pay the worker’s salary during the trial because the insurance company does.
  • Customised Roles: Employers have the flexibility to create short-term roles tailored to the worker’s skills, experience, and physical capabilities.
  • Limited Liability: Employers are generally not liable for any aggravation or recurrence of the old worker’s injuries during the work trial, as safety assessments and responsibilities are clearly defined and managed.
  • Ensured Safety: A rehabilitation consultant conducts a workplace assessment to ensure that all tasks and duties are suitable and safe for the injured worker.

Implementing a Successful Work Trial

For a work trial to be successful, it’s essential for employers to fully understand their needs and effectively communicate the benefits to potential participants. Building trust through transparency about the program and clear, accurate descriptions of the worker’s capabilities and restrictions sets a strong foundation. By ensuring all parties are informed and comfortable with the arrangement, work trials can facilitate successful reentries into the workforce for injured workers while providing significant benefits to employers.

Job Cover Placement Program Overview

The Job Cover Placement Program is designed to encourage employers to offer ongoing paid employment to injured workers who are still recovering. This program not only supports these employees as they reintegrate into the workforce but also offers substantial benefits for employers.

Program Requirements

Employers who participate in this program must provide the injured worker with:

  • A minimum contract of 12 months of paid employment.
  • At least 64 hours of work per month, which breaks down to 16 hours each week.

Benefits for Injured Workers

Participating in this program offers injured workers secure, paid employment. This opportunity helps them financially and supports their personal recovery, allowing them to regain stability in their lives.

Benefits for Employers

“If the injured worker experiences any aggravation or recurrence of their injury within the first two years, the employer is not responsible for the associated costs. These costs are covered by the worker’s original claim.”

Employers gain considerable incentives, including:

  • Rebates up to $27,400 during the first year to offset the costs of the worker’s wages.
  • No liability for any worsening or recurrence of the worker’s injury during the first two years of employment. These costs are covered by the worker’s original claim, ensuring that employers are protected while they support their employees’ rehabilitation.
  • Financial assistance for necessary workplace modifications or accommodations to meet the worker’s needs.
  • Coverage of costs for additional staff or workload management if the injured worker requires time off for treatment or recovery.

Why the Job Cover Placement Program benefits everyone

The Job Cover Placement Program fosters a mutually beneficial situation. It motivates employers to offer job opportunities to injured workers, helping them return to the workforce. At the same time, it provides significant benefits and protections for the employers involved. This program goes beyond simply providing jobs; it’s about creating a supportive workplace that prioritises the health and recovery of its workers.


How do job seekers apply for the Work Trial Program?
Job seekers interested in the Work Trial Program should first discuss their eligibility with a workplace service provider, such as AusRehab, or other registered agencies. The service provider will assist in identifying potential employers offering work trials and help facilitate the application process.
What types of roles are eligible for the Job Cover Placement Program?

The Job Cover Placement Program is versatile and can be applied to a variety of roles across different industries. The key requirement is that the role must accommodate the specific needs of an individual with a pre-existing injury or health condition and must be sustainable and meaningful employment. Positions can be full-time, part-time, or casual, as long as they meet the minimum hours requirement.

How does the government support these programs?
The Australian government supports these programs through funding, resources, and regulatory frameworks that ensure both job seekers and employers are protected and incentivised. This includes covering the insurance for the work trial period, providing wage subsidies, and compensating for workplace modifications under the Job Cover Placement Program.

*The details in this article were correct and current when it was written. However, changes in business practices, policies, and other pertinent areas may have occurred since then. Readers should confirm the current validity of the content on their own.

Stephen Zeng
Stephen is the director and the principal writer at AusRehab, leading workplace rehabilitation provider, with a focus on addressing and resolving workplace injuries.

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