Case Study | The Importance of Defining Inherent Requirements of Jobs

It is important for all employers to understand that the Inherent Requirements of jobs are not the same as job descriptions. Most employers have job descriptions well documented, including key performance indicators relating to employees’ performance and their code of conduct. However, most organisations do NOT have the Inherent Requirements of the jobs correctly documented, which weakens their recruitment process and return to work strategies.

Employers also have legal obligations to monitor the health of their employees and implement strategies to support their employees when they know or ought reasonably to have known that employees can no longer meet the inherent requirements of their jobs.

P2 Group was engaged by five regional Councils to assist in documenting the Inherent Requirements of key jobs.

The first step involved identifying the jobs that were contributing to most of the injuries. P2 Group reviewed the WorkCover claims data for each of the Councils and found most of the injuries resulted from seven key jobs. After consultation with the Councils, it was agreed the Inherent Requirements of the Jobs would be documented for the following roles –

To undertake the analysis of these roles P2 Group Occupational Therapists spent three days at a Council analysing and observing the key physical, cognitive, environmental and organisational demands of each job.

This process involved close consultation with the line managers and employees performing each job and an in depth, observational analysis of the key tasks associated with each job. Following the analysis of the seven Council roles P2 Group Occupational Therapists developed a comprehensive and versatile Inherent Requirements of Job document for each role, incorporating a variety of written task analyses, tables and photographs to increase clarity and readability.

These documents now provide the Councils with an invaluable tool for undertaking pre-employment assessments, identifying suitable duties, assisting to achieve maximising return to work outcomes and managing the reality of an ageing workforce.