Assisting people into work

Our focus is to help people to move towards sustainable employment by providing this support.


We know that most people want to work and can with the right support.

  • Definition of work

    Work and Income defines work as any suitable employment which the person is familiar with, or other types of work that the person might reasonably be expected to be able to undertake when relevant limitations are accounted for.

    For Supported Living Payment, work refers to open employment. Open employment is any mainstream employment in the open labour market which pays no less than the minimum wage. It excludes any employment designed to cater for the needs of a severely disabled person.

  • Factors to consider


    As a health practitioner, you have an opportunity to help people see work as a vital part of their recovery or life with a long-term condition or disability. You can encourage them to keep their current job or move towards suitable part-time employment.

    Most people want to work and can with the right support and assistance.

    It is recognised globally that work is generally good for people's health and well-being, and that long term absence from work can have serious negative impacts. People who are out of work and on a benefit have a higher risk of poverty, social isolation and deteriorating overall health. What's more, the longer people stay on a benefit, the less likely they are to enter or return to work.

    In considering whether to certify a person's capacity for work, it is important to take into account:

    • the nature of the person's health condition and/or disability and how long it is likely to last
    • the client's capacity to work or ability to undertake work related activities given relevant restrictions
    • psychological factors that impact on the person
    • any reasonable modifications to the person's work place that might enable them to continue working or return to work earlier
    • any further circumstances that could assist the person to return to full-time employment in the future such as part-time work, regular hours each day, regular days each week or the avoidance of certain activities
    • treatment, interventions or support that could reduce the duration of the person's incapacity for work
    • any opportunities for the person to retrain or use their current skills in an alternative environment.
  • Employment assistance available from Work and Income

    Work and Income provides a range of assistance to help people into work. This includes specialised roles that focus on linking people to employers (such as work brokers and employment co-ordinators), employment programmes, grants and financial assistance. These include:

    We also have programmes and seminars to help people find work:

    • Job Search Service - Work and Income's service to assist working age clients to find employment within 13 weeks.
    • Employment Workshops - One hour workshops designed to help job seekers search for jobs in a supported and structured environment.