Apprentice and Trainee Boost payments of up to $20,000 are available to  employers who hire an unemployed Queenslander as an apprentice or trainee in regional Queensland or eligible areas of South East Queensland.

Queensland State election caretaker period

The Queensland Government is now in caretaker mode until after the Queensland State election.

Consistent with 2020 State General Election: Guidelines on the Caretaker Conventions , a decision cannot be made during the caretaker period in relation to new applications received during caretaker period or which were lodged before commencement of the caretaker period, but are awaiting decision.    Claims for 26 and 52 week will continue to be assessed and processed during the caretaker period in accordance with existing agreements with the Department.  The Back to Work team may contact you during this time if additional information is required in relation to your application.

About the Back to Work program

The Back to Work program is designed to give businesses the confidence to employ Queenslanders who have experienced a period of unemployment. Support payments are available to eligible employers who hire a previously unemployed Queenslander who has experienced a minimum period of unemployment directly prior to commencing work with them.

The program is available throughout regional Queensland and in parts of South East Queensland (SEQ).

Apprentice and Trainee Boost payments are available to eligible employers who meet all the program eligibility criteria.

The program is not a wage subsidy. The decision to employ someone is at the discretion of the employer and must be a business decision that is independent of the availabilty of the Back to Work support payment.

Employers can make an online application through QGrants after the eligible employee completes four weeks of continuous paid employment. Initial applications must be received within eight weeks of the employee completing four weeks of continuous employment.

Where is the program delivered?

Regional

Back to Work Regional Apprentice and Trainee Boost payments are offered in the following regions:

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

South East Queensland

Back to Work SEQ Apprentice and Trainee Boost payments are offered in the following local government areas:

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

Where is the program not available?

The Back to Work program is not available in the following local government areas:

  • Brisbane
  • Gold Coast
  • Noosa
  • Redlands
  • Sunshine Coast
  • Toowoomba

What payments are available?

From 15 July 2020, each eligible employer (based on their ABN) may claim a maximum of four Back to Work Regional and four Back to Work SEQ applications. This cap does not apply to applications for employees commencing before 1 July 2017 and does include applications from this date to 14 July 2020. This cap applies to Employer Support Payments and Boost Payments and combinations of those payment types.

Once a total of four initial payment applications have been approved, no further initial payment applications will be accepted.

Regional

Apprentice and Trainee Boost Payments ($20,000)

For a jobseeker previously unemployed for a minimum of four weeks and is an eligible apprentice or trainee

Payments are made directly to the eligible employer, in three parts:

  • Initial payment of $6,000 after four weeks of continuous employment and approval of the initial payment application.
  • Second payment of $7,000 after 26 weeks of continuous employment with the same employer and approval of the second payment claim.
  • Final payment of $7,000 after 52 weeks of continuous employment with the same employer and approval of the final payment claim.

South East Queensland

Apprentice and Trainee Boost Payments ($20,000)

For a jobseeker previously unemployed for a minimum of four weeks and is an eligible apprentice or trainee

Payments are made directly to the eligible employer, in three parts:

  • Initial payment of $6,000 after four weeks of continuous employment and approval of the initial payment application.
  • Second payment of $7,000 after 26 weeks of continuous employment with the same employer and approval of the second payment claim.
  • Final payment of $7,000 after 52 weeks of continuous employment with the same employer and approval of the final payment claim.

NOTE: Claims cannot be made for second or final payments (later payments) unless there is an approved initial payment application for that employee lodged by the same employer and approved.

Pro-rata payments are not available for employment less than the required continuous employment period.

Employers are only eligible to receive one payment type per eligible employee.

The figures in this table are payments for eligible full-time jobs. Eligible part-time jobs attract 75 per cent of the full payment. Further information can be found in Eligible Jobs below.

Who can apply?

All employers are eligible except for government entities (local, state and Australian governments and entities including government-owned corporations and statutory bodies).

Each eligible employer (based on their ABN) may claim a maximum of four Back to Work applications. This cap of four applications applies to Employer Support Payments, Boost payments and combinations of these payment types.

Employers must:

  • be compliant with workplace health and safety, industrial relations and taxation legislation and
  • demonstrate a genuine commitment to ongoing employment of the employee.

Regional

An eligible job must be mainly located in regional Queensland (excluding South East Queensland).


South East Queensland

An eligible job must be mainly located in the South East Queensland LGAs listed above.

 


 

  • ongoing paid full-time (at least 35 hours per week on average) or
  • ongoing paid part-time (at least 20 hours per week on average) or
  • for a person with a disability who has a workplace assessment to work between 8 and 20 hours per week, hours consistent with their approved benchmark, on average or
  • a registered and eligible Queensland full-time or part-time apprenticeship (refer to exceptions below).

Ineligible jobs include:

  • a casual job (i.e. may not have guaranteed hours of work each week; may involve working irregular hours; does not provide paid sick or annual leave). Further information can be found here
  • periodic employment such as engagements that are short term in nature (e.g. weekly hire basis)
  • employees transitioning from casual or periodic employment to ongoing part-time or ongoing full-time work
  • where the applicant is not directly employing the employee (i.e. employed on a contract via a third party, such as a labour hire company or group training organisation)
  • a job that offers full-time salary or wages above $120,000 per annum (or pro-rata for part-time)

Ineligible apprenticeships include:

  • a current school-based apprenticeship or traineeship
  • an apprenticeship or traineeship which is funded through the Queensland Government’s Skilling Queenslanders for Work program.

Ineligible apprenticeships include:

  • a current school-based apprenticeship or traineeship
  • an apprenticeship or traineeship which is funded through the Queensland Government’s Skilling Queenslanders for Work program.

An eligible employee for the Apprenticeship and Traineeship Boost payment:

  • must be a permanent resident of Australia and their principal place of residency is in Queensland
  • was unemployed for at least four weeks directly prior to commencing employment with the eligible employer
  • be undertaking a registered and eligible apprenticeship or traineeship
  • must not have worked for the eligible employer in the 52 weeks directly prior to commencing employment with the eligible employer
  • commenced employment with the eligible employer from the 15 July 2020
  • at the time the initial payment application is made, has been in paid employment with the eligible employer for at least four weeks but not more than 12 weeks
  • is not a current full-time student
  • was not a full-time student within four weeks immediately prior to commencing with the eligible employer
  • must not have displaced any existing workers
  • if the employee has a disability, must be engaged in mainstream employment.

If the employee is aged 15-24 years, the application will be assessed as a Youth Boost Payment.

An ineligible employee for a Back to Work payment include if the employee is:

  • an owner of the company, business or joint venture
  • a sole trader
  • a partner in a partnership
  • a director of the company
  • a significant shareholder in the company
  • an owner under a trust arrangement. This may include the trustee, a beneficiary under the trust and/or being an owner of a directly controlled or related entity.

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:

  • 26 weeks of continuous employment for the second Employer Support Payment, Apprentice and Trainee Boost or Youth Boost payment
  • 52 weeks of continuous employment for the final Employer Support Payment, Apprentice and Trainee Boost or Youth Boost payment.

Applications and claims received outside of these timeframes will be ineligible for payment. 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.

Consideration will be given to a late application if:

  1. The applicant has experienced circumstances beyond their control (e.g. ill health, loss of records due to natural disaster or large scale internet failure) that prevented the submission of an application within the required timeframe and
  2. the Back to Work Team has been notified as required in the How long do employers have to apply for a Back to Work payment? section above.

A written request for consideration of a late application including a statutory declaration together with all relevant material must be submitted to the Back to Work Team.

Please note that being unaware of the Back to Work program and not submitting an application within the required timeframe is not considered an extenuating circumstance. Late application requests will not be considered in this circumstance.

Applicants will be notified in writing of a decision within 60 business days from the receipt of the written request.

When applying for Back to Work support payments, it is important that your application is supported by documentary evidence that has been witnessed by an independent authorised person.

The evidence requested to support your application or later payment claim helps determine your eligibility for the program and protects applicants against potential fraud or identity theft. Documents submitted as evidence must be witnessed (i.e. certified by an authorised person) to authenticate them as true and correct at the time of the submission.

The evidence documents have been chosen specifically as they should be documents that are easily accessible for most employers.

It is important to note that the original evidence document (e.g copy of the driver licence) is not a certified copy. An exact copy of the original evidence document (e.g. copy of the driver licence), which has been presented to and witnessed by an independent authorised person, is a certified copy.

Witnessed copies of evidence documents are required for all initial applications for the Back to Work program.

Some evidence documents must be certified by an authorised person under the Statutory Declarations Regulations 2018. Details of who is an authorised person to certify copies of original evidence documents can be found here.

The authorised person must visually sight the original evidence documents and check that there are no alterations to the copies presented to them. The authorised person must pay particular attention to names, dates and reference numbers.

The authorised person then endorses the copies with the following certification:

This is to certify that this is a true and correct copy of the original document, which I have sighted.

Date:

Signature of authorised witness:

Name of authorised witness:

Title of authorised witness (as per Statutory Declarations Regulations 2018):

The online application process for the Back to Work Employer Support Payment 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.

What is required as part of my initial payment application?

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:

WorkCover Policy or Self-insurance Information

In Queensland, under the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (QLD), an employer must, for each worker employed, insure and remain insured to their legal liability to pay compensation and damages to their workers.

You, will be required to provide your WorkCover Policy Number and expiration date in your application. Information provided by you, about your business, including your WorkCover Policy Number, may be disclosed to WorkCover for the purpose of verifying your compliance with the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (QLD).

If you are self-insured for workers accident and injury liability, you will be required to provide information on this insurance, inclusive of the agency who has issued your self-insurance licence.

Witnessed identification for the person submitting the application

Proof is required of the identity of the person submitting the application through QGrants.  This identification must match the name and details of the person responsible in the QGrants account who is submitting the application.

Acceptable identification documents are:

  • an Australian driver licence
  • adult proof of age card (e.g. 18+ card)
  • birth certificate
  • citizenship certificate
  • passport.

The identification must be current (not expired) at the date the employee commenced employment.

Witnessed ABN Certificate

All registered businesses will have received an ABN Certificate at the time of registering the business. This certificate may have been emailed to you at the time you registered for an ABN or sent to you in the mail. If you cannot locate this document a copy of the certificate (which includes a letter) can be requested from the Australian Business Register at https://www.abr.gov.au/business-super-funds-charities/applying-abn/your-business-information-abr/paper-copies-abn-details

The ABN and name on the ABN Certificate must match the ABN and name on your QGrants organisation account and the employee payslips you provide.

All pages of the ABN Certificate must be submitted and witnessed as part of the evidence for your application.

Please note, an ASIC certificate and ABN lookups are not accepted as evidence.

Payslips

An employee must have been in paid permanent employment with you for at least four full weeks prior to the initial application being made and must have worked the average hours relevant to a part-time or full-time application.

To prove that these requirements have been met, please provide copies of the employee’s payslips for the first four continuous full weeks of thier employment with you. Payslips must be submitted as timesheets or a payroll summary will not be sufficient. The ABN and name on the payslips you provide must match the ABN and name on your ABN certificate and QGrants organisation account.

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 .

Employee consent form

An employee consent form must be included with all initial payment applications submitted in QGrants.

This form must be completed and signed by the employee for whom the application is regarding.

Employee identification

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 a non-Australian passport is being submitted as evidence, a letter issued by the Australian Government to the employee outlining thier visa details must also be submitted.

The employee identification must be current (not expired) at the date the employee commenced employment. The first name, surname and date of birth on the employee identification must match the first name, surname and date of birth on the application.

Employees with a disability

If an employee has a disability and a workplace assessment to work between 8 and 20 hours per week, a signed letter issued by a Disability Employment Services Provider or Department of Human Services endorsed Job Capacity Assessment must be attached to the application. This document should detail the employee’s approved benchmark working hours, or the application will not meet the required eligibility criteria. The employee must be working in accordance with their approved benchmark hours. If the payslips do not align with the approved benchmark working hours, the application will not meet the required eligibility criteria.

These eligible part-time jobs will attract 75 per cent of the full-time payment.

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

Please submit your application with the information and documents available and provide details of the documents you are waiting for as an attachment to your application. You will be contacted by a member of the Back to Work Team to discuss next steps.

Applications for Youth Boost Payments are made through the QGrants system. To apply for the Back to Work Youth Boost Payment you must first create an account with QGrants. Go to https://qgrants.osr.qld.gov.au/portal/. It is important to note that Back to Work Regional and Back to Work SEQ are two separate programs, so make sure you choose the program based on where the job you are offering is located.

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 terms and conditions of the Back to Work program.

The online application form contains a series of questions employers must answer to progress the application. All questions are mandatory with the exception of employee demographic questions.

The questions on the application form address the eligibility criteria and are arranged in the following sections:

  • Employer Details: addressing employer eligibility
  • Employee Details: addressing employee eligibility
  • Employment Details: addressing job eligibility
  • Required declarations and consents.

The QGrants system requires important information to be supplied including applicant contact information, bank account details and business information. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure information is kept up-to-date so that the Back to Work Team can remain in contact regarding future applications, claims and reviews.

Further information can be found on the How to apply for a Back to Work payment page.