Assistance available for businesses to attract, support and retain employment.

What support is available?

Back to Work has a range of financial and non-financial support available to businesses who decide to employ and retain an eligible jobseeker through the program, including:

Payments of up to $20,000 are available to businesses that employ an eligible worker who has experienced a minimum period of unemployment directly prior to commencing work with them.

Two types of payments are available under the Back to Work Incentives Payment program when you employ a worker from one of the following target groups:

Back to Work Support Payments of up to $15,000

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (minimum unemployment period of 8 weeks)
  • people with disability (minimum unemployment period of 8 weeks)
  • long-term unemployed people (minimum unemployment period of 52 weeks).

Learn more about Back to Work Support Payments

Youth Boost payments of up to $20,000

  • young people aged 15-24 years (minimum unemployment period of 8 weeks).

Learn more about Youth Boost

Building strong and productive working relationships is integral to the success of any business. The Harrison Tool for Retention is available to Back to Work-supported employers.

Our regionally based teams can work with you to provide tailored advice, focusing on developing a long-term positive relationship with your Back to Work supported employee.

The individualised reports will help you to learn more about your employee including what motivates them, their strengths and how you can work with them to develop a successful, long-term working relationship.

Using the tool, you can:

  • Engage and build a strong working relationship with your employee by starting meaningful conversations.
  • Manage and understand your employee’s strengths to provide effective leadership.
  • Develop your employee’s skill set, potentially securing a valued asset for your business.
  • Retain to reduce employee turnover and the need for additional recruitment processes.

If you have been approved for a Back to Work Incentives Payment, please register your interest in the Harrison Tool for Retention.

Additional funding from the Small Business Support Pool is available to help you retain your Back to Work-supported employee. Back to Work-supported employers must source their own quotes.

The following list of examples is not exhaustive, and DESBT will consider similarly scoped project activities.

Category Example activities
  • Professional development and upskilling to ensure compliance with industry regulations and standards
  • professional business advice
  • personal development (e.g. Microsoft suite, customer skills service)
  • industry specific or job skills training/coaching
  • retraining to assist with diversification
Digital solutions
  • specialised software, including subscription costs
Workplace fit out
  • adjustments to building to improve accessibility (e.g installation of ramps,lifts)
  • furniture and/or equipment to improve accessibility or facilitate the employee to work independently
  • machinery/vehicle alterations (e.g. hydraulic lifts) to improve ability to work independently.

To learn more about what can and cannot be funded, visit Small Business Support Pool.

Developed in partnership with TAFE Queensland, Back to Work’s short courses equip you with additional skills as a business owner/operator and manager. These extra skills and know-how will build your confidence and workplace culture, and help you to retain your employees.

Designed to be completed at your own pace, the courses are free and open to everyone. Course participants will be awarded digital badges to recognise their learning outcomes.

Topics available include:

  • Effective workplace leadership
  • Workplace resilience and wellbeing
  • Recruitment for small business
  • Communicating effectively with people with disability
  • Cultural inclusiveness: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the workplace
  • Cultural responsiveness: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture in the workplace
  • Workforce management
  • Becoming an employer of choice
  • Supporting mature age workers
  • Supporting people re-entering the workforce
  • Supporting young people in the workforce
  • Regional skills support
  • Engaging your workforce
  • Future proof your workforce
  • Flexible Work Arrangements
  • Cultural diversity in the workforce
  • Supporting People’s mental health in the workplace
  • Supporting sexual and gender identities in the workforce

Read more about our small business short courses.

Frequently asked questions

Information to support businesses

The free, self-paced online Small Business Short Courses are available for everyone to access regardless of eligibility for other Back to Work program elements. The content is suitable for anyone working in small business who is seeking professional development opportunities.

The Back to Work program is available in the following areas of regional Queensland:

  • Wide Bay Burnett
  • North Queensland
  • Far North Queensland
  • Mackay/Whitsunday
  • Central Queensland
  • North West Queensland
  • South West Queensland

and in the following South East Queensland local government areas:

  • Ipswich
  • Lockyer Valley
  • Logan
  • Moreton Bay
  • Scenic Rim and
  • Somerset.

The Back to Work program has locally based teams based throughout Queensland who can provide support to your business on a range of support available.

The team provide guidance on the Back to Work program, support available for employee attraction and retention and options of other available Queensland Government assistance to small businesses.

You can find your local regional team here.