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Are you considering employing someone with Autism?

Together we can create an employment opportunity for a person with Autism.


AIM Employment is a local, not-for-profit program established by the Autism Association of Western Australia to assist people with Autism to find and maintain employment.

It’s a recognised Disability Employment Services (DES) provider, funded by the Australian Government, and is a free service. It assists employers to benefit from the many attributes an employee with Autism has to offer. Job Seekers may also use their NDIA Funding to access this service. 

  • Individually supported:
    Initially, intensive support is provided by an AIM Employment team member, followed by regular visits to the workplace to ensure a successful outcome for both the employee and employer.
  • Group supported:
    Where an AIM Employment team member is permanently on site to assist both the employee with Autism and employer, where appropriate.

All job seekers are subject to the same human resource procedures of the business for all other staff. For example, a probationary period, attendance and workplace behaviour.

Aside from encouraging diversity in the workplace, and providing someone with a valued status in the community, you will also be employing a reliable employee.

Recent research by the Bankwest Curtin Economics Center and published in “bcec-autism-in-the-workplace”, shows employees with Autism outperform co-workers without Autism in regard to:

  • Work ethic,
  • Attention to detail, and
  • Quality of work.

We have found this to be true in our experience of coordinating employment for people with Autism, along with above average proficiency in some, or all, of the following:

  • Problem-solving skills,
  • Concentration and memory, and
  • Technical ability, for example, in information technology (IT).

While Autism is a complex lifelong developmental disability, many people with Autism have fulfilling lives and make excellent employees.

More information about the benefits of employing people with a disability can be found at www.employment.gov.au

An AIM Employment team member will remain on the job until the job seeker and the employer are confident the work is being completed satisfactorily.

In some cases, job seekers may undertake a free work trial prior to commencing paid employment. Insurance cover is provided for all job seekers who are on a work trial.

In addition, we’ll also provide support with:

  • On the job training, when required.
  • Accessing financial incentives (see below).
  • Assistance with appropriate Award Coverage and industrial relations issues.
  • The provision of information and education on Autism for co-workers.

Please contact our team for more information on the support available to you and your workplace.

There are two main financial incentives for employers provided through JobAccess, an initiative of the Australian Government:

  1. A wage subsidy:
    Employers may be eligible for a wage subsidy of up to $1,650 as an incentive to employ job seekers with a disability. This can help cover the costs of wages and training in the first few months of employment.
  2. The Supported Wage System (SWS):
    Most people with a disability work at productivity levels equivalent to their co-workers and receive a full award wage. However, if a person with a disability is not able to work at the same productivity levels as their co-workers, then you may consider the SWS. An approved assessor will identify a work productivity rate in the form of a percentage of the acceptable standard for that work classification. Employers can only employ people with a disability under this system if the applicable industrial award or instrument contains such provisions; most modern awards do so.

All paperwork involved for both of the above financial incentives will be organised and completed by AIM Employment.

Often before a job placement occurs the job seeker will participate in a work experience trial instead of, or as well as, an interview.

Face-to-face interviews do not always allow for job seekers to demonstrate their skills and strengths effectively. Work experience can provide a better insight into the abilities of the person and ensure a good fit for both job seeker and employer.

Please note, work experience trials are covered by the Autism Association of Western Australia’s insurance policy.

If your workplace is considering employing a person with Autism, we are confident it will be a positive experience for both you and the employee.

Please contact the AIM Employment Program Team at the Autism Association of Western Australia on (08) 9489 8900.


Myths about employing someone with a disability

The following are common myths about employing someone with a disability, contrasted with the reality.

This resource was compiled by the National Disability Services and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2012, in a publication called “Employ Outside the Box – The Business Case for Employing People with a Disability”.

We thought it might be useful to you, to help outline the benefits of employing a person with a disability and to dispel the myths and misconceptions.

The facts: Think about the job and duties you have and you may be surprised at what can be performed by a person with a disability.
The facts: It’s a matter of courtesy and much easier than most people think. Employers can educate themselves on do’s and don’ts.
The facts: It won’t cost more. A Disability Employment Service (DES) is paid for by the government to assist and support employers. Recent research indicates it costs no more than regular employees.
The facts: Insurance premiums are based on risk, a fact that all employers must consider when thinking of what coverage they need for their business. Insurance companies do not require employers to provide information on employees with a disability. WorkCover premiums are determined by the risk profile of an industry and will only increase if the employee poses a genuine occupational health and safety risk in the workplace.
The facts: Employers often already employ a person with a disability and don’t know it. Disability awareness and training is available to employers and co-workers of people with a disability.
The facts: Research shows people with a disability have fewer occupational health and safety incidents in the workplace.
The facts: Wage subsidies may be available to help employers cover the initial costs of wages and training. In addition, productivity-based wage assessments may also be applied in some situations. See the section above.
The facts: Financial incentives are available to employers who take on an apprentice or trainee with a disability.
The facts: There are many people with a disability who are university graduates and who hold managerial and supervisory positions. Disability doesn’t necessarily affect the ability to learn. All candidates should be assessed on what they can do and their individual skill sets. Training is also available to improve skill levels where gaps exist.
The facts: Untrue. The difference between hiring a person with a disability and a person without a disability is that you are provided with ongoing support for as long as it’s needed. This is a huge benefit over employing a person without a disability.

Your Stories

The School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work began our professional relationship with AIM Employment in 2012 when we employed a worker with Autism. AIM Employment staff provide fantastic support to these workers and to the School, giving on-the-job assistance if needed, with new or complex work tasks. This support means that our researchers can be confident in the work done.

These workers are extremely reliable and punctual, and their accuracy and speed of work on very detailed tasks are excellent. They have taken opportunities to broaden their skills sets through relevant in-house training and short courses, which has increased the number and scope of research projects that have benefitted from their work. Several of these research assistants have either co-authored or been acknowledged in, published peer-reviewed research papers. An excellent outcome for them and the School.

Curtin University, School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work - Marina Ciccarelli – Associate Professor

Last year Australia Post employed two individuals with Autism through a combination of work experience, training and identifying the individual’s skills and matching these skills to particular tasks. With the support of the AIM Employment team, these individuals became part of our processing team working in various parts of the organisation.

These employees have transitioned extremely well once given the opportunity and are an integral part of the Australia Post team. The support we receive from the AIM Employment consultants is extremely valuable especially during times of change which helps to ensure smooth transitions. Employing people with Autism has provided Australia Post with reliable and loyal workers that are genuinely happy to come to work.

Australia Post - John Game, Facility Manager

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