Employees with disability pay rates

The Supported Wage System (SWS) applies to employees who have a reduced work capacity because they have a disability.

When can a supported wage be paid?

A supported wage can only be paid when an award or registered agreement has SWS provisions.

An employee with disability can be paid a percentage of the relevant minimum rate, based on their assessed work capacity. For example, someone with an assessed work capacity of 70% will get 70% of the classification in the award or registered agreement. Only a qualified assessor can conduct this assessment.

Employees cannot be paid less than $80 per week.

If there are no SWS provisions in the award or registered agreement, an employee with disability must be paid the full pay rate for their classification.

If an employee’s disability doesn’t affect the way they can do their job, they get the full pay rate.

What about award and agreement free employees?

Most employees are covered by an award or a registered agreement, but a few jobs and industries are not.

If an employee isn’t covered by an award or registered agreement, their minimum pay rate is set by the national minimum wage. An employee with disability can be paid a percentage of the national minimum wage, based on their work capacity. For example, someone with a work capacity of 70% will get 70% of the national minimum wage.

Employees cannot be paid less than $80 per week.

Think a mistake might have been made?

Mistakes can happen. The best way to fix them usually starts with talking.

Check out our Help resolving workplace issues section for practical advice on:

  • figuring out if a mistake has been made
  • talking to your employer or employee about fixing it
  • getting help from us if you can't resolve it.

Help for small business

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