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Resources and government support for disabled employees and jobseekers

There are resources and services designed specifically to assist disabled employees and jobseekers.

Supported employment agencies are located across New Zealand and help disabled people to get and keep a job.

  • Workbridge
    As well as administering government funding schemes to support disabled people into open employment, training or self-employment, Workbridge(external link) also places disabled people directly into work.

  • New Zealand Disability Support Network
    On the ASENZ website(external link) you can find more information such as the agencies closest to you, and links to specialist supported employment agencies listed by region, by vacancy or by disability.

  • Workwise Employment Agency
    Workwise Employment Agency(external link) supports people with mental health conditions to return to work and to stay in work.

The New Zealand Government funds a range of employment and employment related services and support for people with disability, including training and apprenticeships. Help is available for preparing to look for work, looking for a job and, if needed, ongoing support once in a job.

The following list includes all Government funded or supported services and support, including those provided by contracted private or NGO groups.

A-Z List of government services and support

  • Advocacy for disabled people is provided by People First(external link).
  • Business enterprises are organisations that specialise in creating and providing employment opportunities with support, primarily for disabled people. If you are interested in working at a business enterprise, or other types of disability employment services then you can contact Inclusive NZ(external link), to find business enterprises near you.
  • Careers New Zealand(external link) is responsible for leading the career development of all New Zealanders. Their site provides information about careers options for all New Zealanders.
  • Enable New Zealand(external link) provides environmental support services for disabled people on behalf of the Ministry of Health.
  • Enabling Good Lives(external link) is a partnership between the disability section and government agencies aimed at long term transformation of how disabled people and families are supported to live everyday lives.
  • The NZ Disability Strategy(external link) (MSD / ODI) is a long-term plan to make New Zealand a disability inclusive society. It has been developed in consultation with disabled people and the wider disability sector, and reflects many individuals' experiences of disability.
  • People First’s easy to read employment agreement builder template(external link) can be used to make sure allow people with learning or other disabilities clearly understand their employment relationship with their employers.
  • Income exemption for working disabled beneficiaries- the income a person earns from their job can affect their benefit amount. Work and Income may grant an exemption for severe disablement(external link). This recognises the effort severely disabled people must use to get and keep a job and acts as an incentive to work.
  • The Office for Disability Issues explains terms(external link) and concepts relevant to issues of disability and has lots of useful information.
  • Providing Access to Health Solutions (PATHS) provides health services and interventions, to help people who get a Supported Living Payment who want to work, but need support to get a job. PATHS(external link) is a partnership between Work and Income, DHB’s and community organisations.
  • Employees have a legal right to request changes to their hours of work, days of work, or place of work(external link). Employers must consider a request for flexible working and can only refuse it on certain grounds.
  • Self Start(external link) (MSD through Workbridge) helps people with disabilities to become self- employed, by covering the additional costs relating to a person's disability.
  • Skills Investment Subsidy
    The Skills Investment Subsidy(external link) is a subsidy paid to an employer for wages and/or training so people can get the skills they need to do the job.
  • Supported employment agencies (ASENZ)
    There are supported employment agencies in all the big towns and cities of New Zealand. These agencies help disabled people to get a job and to keep it. You can find the agency closest to you. You can also see links to specialist Supported Employment agencies listed by region, by vacancy, or by disability:
    • Visual Impairment
    • Hearing Impairment
    • Intellectual Impairment
    • Mental Health
    • Generic/Pan
  • The Training and Workforce Development Fund(external link) (MSD through Inclusive NZ) is available to staff members (including administration staff) of organisations contracted by the Ministry of Social Development National Office to provide vocational services. This includes any training which is relevant to your position within your organisation. Funding is administered by NZFVSS, and covers course costs only, and extends to a wide variety of courses and workshops from first aid to post graduate study.
  • Training Support(external link) (MSD through Workbridge) is financial support for a person with a disability undergoing assessment, work experience, training or education as part of their plan to gain open employment.
  • Transition to Work assistance(external link) (MSD through Work and Income) provides support to people on benefits, students and low-income earners moving between jobs or entering the workforce. It can help pay for job search, interview and placement costs. Work and Income debt repayments can be suspended for people entering full-time employment.
  • The New Zealand Government web toolkit(external link) explains the legal basis and requirements for accessible websites. Disability Consumers Forum: What We Learned(external link) has information about feedback from disables user groups suggested practical improvements for web design
  • All employers must provide a safe workplace, with proper training, supervision and equipment WorkSafe New Zealand(external link) has more information.

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