Detailed definitions and answers to frequently asked questions.

Definitions

The following are definitions of terminology used for the Back to Work program.

Persons aged 15 years and over who were neither in paid employment nor a full-time student, during the four weeks directly prior to commencing employment with the eligible employer are eligible employees for Back to Work payments.

Activities that do not constitute paid employment and do not impact on eligibility include:

  • Receiving payments that relate to government benefits
  • Unpaid volunteer work
  • Paid and unpaid trials
  • Participating in a Skilling Queenslanders for Work program
  • Participating in a school-based apprenticeship
  • Participating in the Prepare or Trial elements of the Australian Government’s Youth Jobs PaTH (Prepare, Trial, Hire) program.

Activities that do not constitute unemployment and are not eligible for the Back to Work Program include:

  • Periods of leave including unpaid leave
  • Undertaking full-time study (full-time study is defined by the student’s educational institution) or
  • If you have participated in the Hire element of the Australian Government’s Youth PATH program.

If an employer has received funding under the Queensland Government’s First Start or Work Start programs the employer is not eligible for a Back to Work payment in respect to the same employee.

Employers who are eligible for Back to Work payments may also be eligible for wage subsidies provided by the Australian Government. Employers are able to claim payments provided via the Australian Government’s jobactive network, Disability Employment Services network, or Youth Jobs PaTH at the same time as payments offered by Back to Work, provided these combined payments do need exceed 100 per cent of the employee’s total wages. State and Commonwealth Government agencies will undertake periodic data matching to enforce this.

Applications must be submitted by the employer, not an agent or other party. This is due to the requirement for the employer to agree to the conditions of the Back to Work Program.

Trials are often used by employers to evaluate the suitability of a person for a vacant job. This is used to determine if the person is suitable for the job by getting them to demonstrate their skills. Trials should be for a period deemed reasonable to make an assessment of suitability for the particular job. The Fair Work Ombudsman provides information on trials including when they should be paid or unpaid.

Examples and further information on lawful and unlawful trials can be found on the Fair Work Australia website https://www.fairwork.gov.au/pay/unpaid-work/unpaid-trials.

Employers can put their employees on a probation period (also known as a probationary period) to assess if employees are suitable for the role and their business. The employer decides on the length of the probation period. It can range from a few weeks to a few months at the start of employment.

Probation periods aren’t a separate period of employment. While on probation, employees continue to receive the same entitlements as someone who isn’t in a probation period.

Further information can be found on the Fair Work Australia website https://www.fairwork.gov.au/employee-entitlements/types-of-employees/probation

The employee must be a permanent resident of Australia and their principal place of residency must be in Queensland. A principal place of residence is a residence you live in (with your personal belongings) on a daily basis. A permanent resident is:

  • A citizen of Australia or
  • A non-citizen who is a holder of a permanent visa to live, work and study without restriction in Australia.

John Smith has a signed letter from his Disability Employment Services Provider, and has been assessed as being able to work 15 hours per week. When John’s employer is making an application to Back to Work, the letter stating the approved benchmark hours must be submitted with the application, and the payslips submitted as part of the claim must meet the approved benchmark hours, on average.

If John’s approved workplace hours exceeded 20 hours per week, his employer could submit an application for John as a part-time worker and the approved workplace assessment would not need to be attached to the application. However, the payslips accompanying the application would need to demonstrate John has worked at least 20 hours per week, on average.

Applicants will be entering into a legal agreement with the Queensland Government. Applicants will need to confirm, for each application submitted, that they:

  • Have thoroughly read and understood the Guidelines for Funding and Terms and Conditions and
  • Consent to the Back to Work Team sharing information with Queensland and Commonwealth Government agencies for the purposes of evaluating, administering, assessing, monitoring and auditing compliance with the eligibility criteria for the Back to Work Program to support delivery of other Back to Work funding and support, and to promote the Back to Work Program, as set out in the privacy statement contained in the Terms and Conditions and
  • Have obtained the consent of the employee referred to in the application to disclose the employee’s personal details for the purposes set out in the privacy statement contained in the Terms and Conditions.

All eligibility criteria must be met in order to receive a Back to Work payment.

The Terms and Conditions in QGrants set out how information collected as part of the application process will be used by the Queensland Government. Broadly, the information can be used for the purposes of evaluating, administering, assessing, monitoring and auditing compliance with the eligibility criteria for the Back to Work Program, to support delivery of other Back to Work funding and support,  and to promote the Back to Work Program.

Applicants must provide information about their employees for the purposes of assessing eligibility. Employers must declare that they have obtained consent from their employee to disclose personal details for the purposes set out in the privacy statement in the Terms and Conditions.

For further information about how the Back to Work Team manages personal information, please contact the Privacy Contact Officer by email at privacy@treasury.qld.gov.au.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The Frequently Asked Questions below provide further clarification on making an application to the Back to Work program. Further information can also be found in the Back to Work Program Guidelines and Terms and Conditions for both the Back to Work Regional and Back to Work SEQ programs.

Yes, the Back to Work program will be undergoing significant program updates from 1 July 2018. Learn more here.

Initial payment applications must be received within eight weeks of the employee completing:

  • Four weeks of continuous employment.

Later payment applications must be received within 12 weeks of the employee completing:

  • For the second Youth Boost or Mature Aged Workers Boost payment, 26 weeks of continuous employment
  • For the final Employer Support, Youth Boost or Mature Aged Workers Boost payments, 52 weeks of continuous employment.

Applications and claims received outside of these timeframes will be ineligible for payment. Therefore, it is highly recommended that applicants submit their applications well before the cut-off date. Applicants must notify the Back to Work Team immediately of any problems submitting their applications within the required timeframe at backtowork@treasury.qld.gov.au.

The online application process for Back to Work payments requires evidence that the employer, employee and job meet the eligibility criteria for the payment. This evidence must be submitted when making your online application.

It is important that evidence documents meet the eligibility criteria. Providing incorrect, out-of-date or illegible documents will cause delays to an application being processed.

All scanned items must be valid, current and legible documents and in a standard format (e.g. PDF, JPEG or Word). Documents requiring clarification or resubmission may result in delays to the application process.

Documents required at the time of application are as follows:

ABN Certificate

All registered businesses will have received an ABN Certificate in letter form at the time of registering the business. A copy of the certificate can be requested from the Australian Business Register at https://abr.gov.au/Contact-us/Contact-the-ABR/.

Payslips

Payslips must meet the minimum requirement as set out by Fair Work Australia under the Fair Work Act 2009 and the Fair Work Regulations 2009. Information on the legal requirements for payslips is available through the Fair Work Australia website at https://www.fairwork.gov.au/pay/pay-slips-and-record-keeping/pay-slips.

An employee must have been in paid employment for at least four weeks prior to the initial application being made and have worked for the average hours relevant to a part-time or full-time application. The payslips must prove that these eligibility requirements have been met. For example, payslips for the first four weeks of employment or the most recent payslip showing year to date wages which demonstrate employment for a period of at least four weeks could be used.

Employee ID

Proof is required of the jobseeker’s identity. Acceptable identification documents are:

  • An Australian driver licence
  • Adult proof of age card (e.g. 18+ Card)
  • Birth certificate
  • Citizenship certificate or
  • Passport.

If you are waiting for evidence documents (e.g. ABN Certificate) to complete your application and it is getting close to the due date, you can still apply.

Please submit your application with the information and documents you have available and provide the details of the documents you are waiting for as an attachment to your application. Your application will then be moved to “More Information Required” (See Application Status in QGrants below) and you will be provided the opportunity to supply the outstanding evidence documents.

Applications will be assessed based on the following eligibility criteria:

  • Has the applicant complied with these guidelines including:
    • eligible employer
    • eligible job
    • eligible employee
    • completion of required periods of employment
    • timeframes for submitting applications
    • supporting evidence and documentation
    • necessary consents
    • existence of previous approvals (for later payments) and
    • cap on approved applications?
  • Has the applicant (and, if the applicant is not an individual, its owners) and the applicant’s management staff, complied with local, State and Commonwealth laws and regulations, including but not limited to laws relating to workplace safety and industrial relations?
  • Has the applicant demonstrated a genuine commitment to the ongoing employment of the employee and other employees for whom applications have been submitted?
  • Has the applicant’s engagement of the employee displaced any existing workers?
  • Where the employment is provided for an employee with a disability, is the employee engaged in mainstream employment?
  • Are there any public interest issues indicating the application should not be approved?

Examples of when an application might not be approved on public interest basis include:

  • the applicant, its owners, or relevant management staff, have a history of poor compliance with legislation, including but not limited to laws relating to workplace safety and industrial relations
  • matters involving fraud
  • the applicant has already received funding for the employee under another government program.

Applications submitted with all complete and correct information and documents are usually processed within 10 business days. If following initial review of your application, you have been requested to provide more information, your application will remain open until the required evidence documents are uploaded onto the system. You can review the status of your application at any time by logging into the QGrants system.

Once an application is processed and approved, payment will be made via electronic transfer, usually within 5-10 business days. The payment is made into the registered account so please ensure the bank account details provided in your application are kept up-to-date. Please be aware that this payment timeframe refers to the financial institution’s processing timeframes only and does not reflect application processing times.

If the employee ceases employment with you after a payment has been made, you do not need to return the payments already received, but you will be ineligible for any further payments for that employee. However, if it is determined that you have received a payment for which the eligibility criteria were not met, the Queensland Government will seek to recover that payment from you.

If the employee ceases employment, or their employment conditions significantly change (e.g. they move from full-time to part-time), after an application has been made, you must notify the Back to Work Team in writing at backtowork@treasury.qld.gov.au providing:

  • The date employment ceased or changed and
  • An explanation of the reason why the employee ceased employment or had their employment conditions altered.

This information will be held on record for program monitoring and audit purposes. Further information can be found in the Terms and Conditions.

Applicants must reaffirm that they continue to meet the eligibility criteria for all later payments outlined in the payment schedule. Evidence must be provided to support each later application including that continuous employment has occurred for the specified period of time. Applicants are required to upload into the QGrants System a clear and legible scan of the required documents in a PDF, JPEG or Word format.

Required documents are:

Back to Work Regional

If you applied for an initial Employer Support Payment prior to 11 November 2016:

  • The employer’s ABN Certificate: All registered businesses should have received an ABN Certificate in letter form from the Australian Business Register. A copy of the certificate can be requested from the Australian Business Register at https://abr.gov.au/Contact-us/Contact-the-ABR/ .
  • Proof of the jobseeker’s identity, being one of:
    • Australian driver licence
    • Adult proof of age card (e.g. 18+ Card)
    • Birth certificate
    • Citizenship certificate or
    • Passport.
  • Evidence to prove that the employee has completed 52 weeks of continuous employment. This must include:
    • If the period of employment crosses a financial year, a copy of the PAYG payment summary covering the period of commencement to 30 June of that financial year in addition to payslips for each month post 30 June that year or
    • if the period of employment does not cross a financial year, a payslip for each month since commencement including one covering the 52 week point.

If you applied for an initial Employer Support, Youth Boost or Mature Aged Worker Boost payment on or after 11 November 2016:

Second Youth Boost  or Mature Aged Workers Boost Payments

  • Evidence to prove that the employee has completed 26 weeks of continuous employment. This must include:
    • if the period of employment crosses a financial  year, a copy of the PAYG payment summary covering the period of commencement to 30 June of that financial year in addition to payslips for each month post 30 June  that year or
    • if the period of employment does not cross a financial year, a payslip for each month since commencement including one covering the 26 week point

Final Employer Support, Youth Boost or Mature Aged Workers Boost Payments

  • Evidence to prove that the employee has completed 52 weeks of continuous employment. This must include:
    • if the period of employment crosses a financial year a copy of the PAYG payment summary covering the period of commencement to 30 June of that financial year in addition to payslips for each month post 30 June that year or
    • if the period of employment does not cross a financial year, a payslip for each month since commencement including one covering the 52 week point.

Back to Work SEQ

Second Payments:

Evidence to prove that the employee has completed 26 weeks of continuous employment. This must include:

  • If the period of employment crosses a financial year, a copy of the PAYG payment summary covering the period of commencement to 30 June of that financial year in addition to payslips for each month post 30 June that year or
  • If the period of employment does not cross a financial year, a payslip for each month since commencement including one covering the 26 week point.

Final Payments

Evidence to prove that the employee has completed 52 weeks of continuous employment. This must include:

  • if the  period of employment crosses a financial year, a copy of the PAYG payment summary covering the period of commencement to 30 June of that financial year in addition to payslips for each month post 30 June that year or
  • If the period of employment does not cross a financial year, a payslip for each month since commencement including one covering the 52 week point.

Information on the legal requirements for payslips is available through the Fair Work Australia website at https://www.fairwork.gov.au/pay/pay-slips-and-record-keeping/pay-slips.

If the application has been processed and has been assessed as not meeting the eligibility criteria then the applicant will be notified that it has not been approved. Applicants may request a review of a decision made by the Back to Work Team in relation to the provision of a Back to Work Employer Support, Youth Boost or Mature Aged Worker Boost payment. This request must be lodged within 30 days after the decision was given to the applicant.

The review request should state in detail the grounds on which the request is made. The applicant should also attach all material relevant to the request.

Review requests may be lodged in writing to:

Review Officer, Back to Work Program

PO Box 15483

City East

Brisbane QLD 4002

Or by email:

compliance@treasury.qld.gov.au

Applicants will be notified in writing of the outcome of the review within 30 business days from the receipt of the written request.

Advice will be published on the Back to Work website if funding under Back to Work is no longer available, or the program has been discontinued.

The taxation implications of any payments made to an applicant under Back to Work may differ depending on the applicant’s personal circumstances. The Queensland Government is unable to provide taxation advice and accordingly we recommend consulting your own professional adviser to determine any taxation implications that may apply.

The Australian Taxation Office has publicly available guidance that may also assist you. This information can be accessed online at www.ato.gov.au. For example, guidance in relation to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) treatment of financial assistance payments can be found in GST Ruling 2012/2.

When you have lodged an application through the QGrants system it will be assigned a status. Your application status can be checked anytime by logging into your QGrants account.

Status definitions include:

Draft

If an application has been started through the QGrants system and saved without being submitted, then the application is in draft. This means the application has not been sent to the Back to Work Team for consideration. To progress the application, the applicant is required to complete it online with all requested evidence documents attached. It is recommended that the work is saved at every stage of the application to avoid losing important information during the process.

Please be aware that applications must be submitted within the relevant application eligibility period. Any applications left in draft cannot be assessed by the Back to Work Team.

Ineligible

To be eligible for the Back to Work Employer Support or Youth Boost payments all eligibility criteria must be met. If the application does not meet the program’s eligibility criteria then it will be deemed ineligible and will not be submitted for further assessment to the Back to Work Team. It is recommended that all applicants read through the eligibility criteria prior to applying to ensure they can meet all the program criteria.

In Process

Once an application is successfully submitted through QGrants and it has passed the system validations, the application status will be In Process. This means that your application has been successfully submitted to the Back to Work Team for processing.

All applications are reviewed to ensure that both the eligibility criteria have been met and correct supporting documentation has been provided. All approvals are dependent on the Back to Work Team’s review to ensure all eligibility criteria are met and evidence supplied meets the program guidelines. Processing times for applications will vary depending on the complexity of applications and the volume of applications received. Applications submitted with all complete and correct information and evidence documents are usually processed within 10 business days.

Approved or Agreement Created

Once the application has been processed by the Back to Work Team and is deemed to have met all the eligibility criteria it will be approved. Payments will be made via electronic transfer in approximately 5-10 business days of the application being approved. Please note, your financial institution’s payment processing times may vary.

The applicant will receive an email informing them of the approval and their obligations as a recipient of funding under the Back to Work Program. The approval is subject to the rights and limitations provided in the Terms and Conditions, including if it is reasonably determined that you have received a payment for which the eligibility criteria were not met, the Queensland Government will require you to repay that payment.

Not Approved

If the application has been processed and has been assessed as not meeting the eligibility criteria then the applicant will be notified that it has not been approved. Unsuccessful applicants will be provided with reasons why their application was not approved and can request a review of that decision.

More Information Required

During the assessment process, applicants may be asked to provide further information to support their claim. If the applicant is requested to provide more information, the application will be re-opened by the Back to Work Team in QGrants so that further documentation can be uploaded and the application resubmitted. It is important that the applicant ensures that all information provided is correct throughout the whole application as the Employer Declaration must be reaffirmed.

Once the requested information has been provided, and resubmitted, the status of the application will change to In Process and proceed for processing by the Back to Work Team.

If you have any unanswered questions you can contact us

Is this for me?

The easy way to find out what you can apply for is to take the Back to Work questionnaire:
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