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Using Disability Employment Services providers

The Australian Government funds a national network of private and not-for-profit organisations to support people with disability to prepare for, secure and maintain work. These organisations are known as Disability Employment Services (DES) providers.

How can a DES provider assist me to employ people with disability?

The role of DES providers is to support employers and employees with disability employment issues. This includes ensuring that employees with disability are supported to perform at their most productive levels.

DES providers offer a range of support and assistance at no cost, including:

  • training, information and awareness-raising activities about disability for managers and co‑workers
  • help to develop job descriptions that provide role clarity and better support for the on-boarding of new employees with disability
  • on-the-job or off-site training and support to ensure new employees with disability settle into their job
  • provision of on-the-job training and support to employees with disability throughout their employment as required
  • access to work experience placements
  • help with job design in situations where an innovative approach may offer someone with significant barriers an opportunity to work
  • access to information about wage subsidies that may support an employer's decision to offer an employment opportunity to a candidate with disability
  • access to workplace modifications if they are required
  • access to information about schemes that may create employment opportunities for the small percentage of people with disability who have reduced productivity in the workplace such as the Supported Wage System.

Getting the most from your DES provider

As an employer, you can expect the following services from your local DES provider across the various phases of employment:

Job applications

Your DES provider should:

  • present you with a candidate's professional resume tailored to the job and listing current referees
  • describe the candidate's competencies and how they meet the inherent requirements of the job
  • explain any changes or reasonable adjustments required and how the provider might facilitate these
  • prepare the candidate for the interview with you
  • provide information on how they intend to support the candidate once in employment
  • provide advice on government incentives and subsidies as appropriate.

On commencement

Your DES provider should:

  • identify tasks that the candidate may need support with
  • provide you with a copy of the candidate's Employment Support Planwhich outlines the nature and timing of support to be provided to you and the candidate at various stages of the employment lifecycle
  • brief you on effective communication and workplace adjustments should these be required.


Your DES provider should:

  • identify tasks where support may be required
  • come to an agreement with you on when and how support will be provided
  • discuss who will provide feedback to the employee and how
  • schedule support for the probationary period
  • inspect and review workplace adjustments
  • brief or train co-workers as required.

Probationary period (if needed)

Your DES provider should:

  • review the employee's initial progress, for example rate of skill acquisition
  • hold regular feedback sessions with both you and the employee
  • schedule support for the retention and support period.

Retention and support

Your DES provider should:

  • be available for weekly or fortnightly feedback sessions as appropriate
  • review support given and modify as required
  • confirm support arrangements over the next six months and beyond
  • if required, provide you with clear information about what to do and who to contact should additional support be needed.

Finding a DES provider

You can find a DES provider:

Last reviewed: 
15 May 2018