Designing new approaches to service integration, system alignment and cultural change.
Our projects are shaped by five priority pillars focused on schemes and systems, GPs and other providers, employers and workplaces to support our strategy and build on the findings of past projects.
Pillar 1 - Measuring movement of people between systems
- Australia’s income and benefit support systems are complex, fragmented & highly disparate
- In 2015/16, 786,000 people with a health condition or disability were estimated to not be participating in work and $37.2 billion was spent on income support in the same year.
- People move from ‘upstream’ systems of benefit and income support to ‘downstream’ systems – this can be minimised through supporting people to engage in good work.
By understanding how the systems work, sharing data and better practice, we can improve system design to achieve better alignment, outcomes and experiences.
This project expands on our previous research in the Cross-Sector Systems Project where we developed the first national conceptual map of Australia’s ten major benefit and income support systems. This work identified opportunities for ‘upstream’ systems such as superannuation, life insurance and workers’ compensation to drive work participation outcomes early.
This project will identify the relationship between various compensation and income support systems including: employer provided entitlements; workers’ compensation; motor vehicle accident compensation; life insurance and superannuation; social welfare and disability support; and Veteran’s compensation. This project will quantify the movement of people and using qualitative research to understand their experience and develop a systems dynamics model mapping the movement across the major systems.
Approach: Monash University in partnership with The University of Melbourne undertook a study using qualitative research methods to survey people with lived experience who have interacted with one or more income support system. The project also included the development of a data model to quantify the current movement and predict future movement of people between income support systems.Read the final survey and interview report
Status: Finalised May 2022
Pillar 2 - Supporting people moving between systems
- People are ‘falling through the cracks’ as they transition between benefit and income support systems
- People feel they need to be “twice as sick to get half the help”
- People are drawing on personal financial and social assets while awaiting support
Implement best practice case management universally across systems, achieving outcomes earlier and reducing unnecessary movement between systems.
This project will design and trial a Transition Support Service for people exiting the workers’ compensation sector to another system, for example life insurance, superannuation or social security. This project builds on findings commissioned by the Partnership that showed people are most vulnerable as they transition between systems and no system currently provides support at this critical juncture.
Approach: EML are leading an action research project to design and trial a Transition Support Specialist service to provide tailored support to participants exiting the Victorian Workers’ compensation system and potentially entering into another system. Measuring the effectiveness of the transition support service will help to identify what support is needed at this critical time to help people maintain focus on their work participation goals and understand how to navigate the systems.
Status: Commenced August 2020
Pillar 3 - Improving employer capability
- Less than 50% of employers have experience in recruiting or supporting someone with a health condition or disability
- 50% of employers are not confident in their business’ ability to support people with a physical or psychological disability or health condition
- Employers who have experience working with someone with a disability or health condition were more likely to recruit and support someone in the future
- Organisations can be more productive when you make the most of employees’ different abilities and find roles where the health condition can become an advantage
- Cross sector alignment of employment services across schemes and systems to better serve employers and people with a health condition or disability.
This project will develop new ways to improve the capability of employers to support people with health conditions or disability. This project is driven by evidence delivered through the Partnership that showed many employers don’t have the experience or confidence to support people with a health condition or disability in the workplace.
Approach: Department of Education, Skills and Employment will lead this project. This work has significant importance with the recent impact of COVID-19 on the employment landscape.
Status: Commenced April 2021
Pillar 4 - Driving cultural and behavioural change
- Only 1 in 5 employers could identify the benefits of employing someone with a health condition or disability
- 50% of employers do not consider it a priority to recruit or support someone with a disability or health condition
Community awareness to normalise ill health and disability
This project is driven by research commissioned by the Partnership that showed 41 percent of employers did not consider it a priority to employ people with health conditions or disability and that most people experienced significant cultural barriers that impeded their pathway to gainful employment.
Approach: We are exploring opportunities to deliver an awareness program that will change attitudes and behaviours towards people with a health condition or disability and their connection to work.
Pillar 5 - Supporting General Practitioners (GPs) to facilitate work participation
The GP role in supporting work participation is complex and confusing with different systems requiring GPs to play different roles
- GPs play a central role in supporting work participation for people with a health condition or disability
- A team-based care coordination approach is needed between GPs, employers, providers and the systems to support work participation
The Partnership developed Australia’s first national Principles on the role of the GPs in supporting work participation. The Principles have been officially recognised as a Supported Position Statement by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and endorsed by the Heads of Workers’ Compensation Authorities. Given the employment challenges with COVID-19, GPs play a critical role in supporting Australians to engage in ‘good work’.
Approach: This project involves working closely with employers, industry, medical practitioners, the ACTU, people with lived experience and the systems to help us design the best ways to practically and meaningfully implement the Principles. This project will engage with RACGP to provide information that could contribute to future reviews of GP curriculum.
Status: Commenced March 2020
Building on our past projects and research, we will continue to drive change guided by strategic objectives, priority pillars and outcomes.
Designing and trialling best practice approaches to improve work participation.
The Partnership is a national collaboration with strong representation across sectors and systems.