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Employee awareness project

For: Employers and managers Information seekers

This project investigates how to better empower people with a temporary or permanent injury, illness or disability to use work as part of their recovery. This is an important gap in evidence.

This is a Collaborative Partnership project.

Project update

The project has delivered new understandings through a rapid literature review, citizen panel, and interviews with citizens and expert stakeholders.

Now available are the Employee Awareness and Empowerment Research report (PDF, 795.2 KB) and report snapshot (PDF, 82.3 KB).

Project overview

This project commissioned research to understand:

  • the experience of people with a temporary or permanent injury, illness or disability navigating Australia’s benefit and income support systems and interacting with employers and service providers
  • their perspectives on interventions aimed to empower, such as mentoring, work accommodation and goal setting.

This project identifies evidence-based:

  • dependent self-empowerment interventions (actions an individual can take) and
  • dependent empowerment interventions (actions an individual cannot take without broader changes).

Project participants

Project lead

  • EML

Other organisations involved

  • Department of Education, Skills and Employment
  • Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU)
  • Mental Health Commission
  • Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental medicine (AFOEM)
  • Representatives from industry groups, consumer and disability sectors, and Comcare licensees
  • The Shannon Company
  • Behaviourworks Australia.

Findings and reports


Why this research is important

This research project is part of our Research Plan Towards 2022 and supports our purpose to foster work participation and recovery.

Finding ways to help injured and ill employees return to work as soon as it is safe to do so, has benefits for both the employee and the employer.

We know good work supports people’s mental and physical health and wellbeing.

We also know that being off work for extended periods can have serious long-term effects including isolation and depression. Experience shows that the longer someone is off work, the less likely they are to return to work.

More information

Sign up to receive updates on the Collaborate Partnership to improve work participation.

Page last reviewed: 20 June 2022
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GPO Box 9905, Canberra, ACT 2601
1300 366 979 | www.comcare.gov.au

Date printed 26 Jun 2022