The Queensland Government is committed to driving increased employment opportunities across the state.

Employer Support Payments of up to $15,000 are available to eligible employers who hire an eligible unemployed jobseeker in regional or South East Queensland.

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 areas of South East Queensland (SEQ) experiencing significant labour market challenges.

Employer Support 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 availability 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 Employer Support Payments are offered in the following regions:

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

South East Queensland

Back to Work SEQ Employer Support Payments are offered in the following areas:

 

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

What payments are available?

Each eligible employer (based on thier ABN) may claim a maximum of five Back to Work Regional and five Back to Work SEQ initial payment applications. This cap applies to Employer Support, Youth Boost and Mature Aged Worker Boost payments and combinations of those payment types. Once a total of five initial payment applications per region have been approved, no further initial payment applications can be accepted.

Regional

Employer Support Payments ($10,000)

For a jobseeker previously unemployed between four and 52 weeks

Eligible employee must have been employed between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2020.

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

  • Initial payment of $4,000 after four weeks of continuous employment and approval of the initial payment application.
  • Final payment of $6,000 after 52 weeks of continuous employment with the same employer and approval of the final payment claim.

Employer Support Payments ($15,000)

For a jobseeker previously unemployed 52 weeks or more

Eligible employee must have been employed between 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2020.

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

  • Initial payment of $6,000 after four weeks of continuous employment and approval of the initial payment application.
  • Final payment of $9,000 after 52 weeks of continuous employment with the same employer and approval of the final payment claim.

South East Queensland

Employer Support Payments ($15,000)

For a jobseeker previously unemployed 52 weeks or more

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

  • Initial payment of $4,500 after four weeks of continuous employment and approval of the initial payment application.
  • Second payment of $5,250 after 26 weeks of continuous employment with the same employer and approval of the second payment claim.
  • Final payment of $5,250 on completion of 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.

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 Commonwealth Governments and entities including government-owned corporations and statutory bodies).

Each eligible employer (based on thier ABN) may claim a maximum of five Back to Work applications. This cap of five applications applies to Employer Support Payments, Youth Boost payments, Mature Age Worker Boost payments and combinations of payment types.

Employers must have:

  • A good workplace health and safety and industrial relations record and
  • A genuine commitment to ongoing employment of the employee.

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 and Terms and Conditions and
  • Consent to the Back to Work Team sharing information with Queensland and Australian 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 of the employee for the purposes set out in the privacy statement contained in the Terms and Conditions.

Applications must be made by the employer, not an agent or other party. This is because the employer needs to agree to the terms and conditions of the Back to Work Program.


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 a South East Queensland LGA  as listed above.


An eligible job must be mainly located in the areas of Queensland listed under the Where is the program delivered? above, and either:

  • 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 Ineligible Apprenticeships below).

 

Ineligible jobs under Back to Work 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 at https://www.fairwork.gov.au/employee-entitlements/types-of-employees/casual-part-time-and-full-time/casual-employees.
  • 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 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 under Back to Work include:

  • A 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 Employer Support Payment:

  • must be a permanent resident of Australia and their principal place of residency is in Queensland
  • must have been unemployed for the minimum period of employment for the specified support payment directly prior to commencing employment with the eligible employer
  • has not worked for the eligible employer in the 52 weeks directly prior to commencing employment with the eligible employer
  • commenced employment with the eligible employer during the relevant program (Back to Work Regional or Back to Work SEQ) eligibility period
  • 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 directly prior to commencing employment with the eligible employer
  • must not have displaced any existing workers and
  • if the employee has a disability, must be engaged in mainstream employment.

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 primary 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 continous employment for the second Employer Support Payment (Back to Work SEQ only) or Youth Boost Payment
  • 52 weeks of continuous employment for the final Employer Support Payment 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:

a) the applicant has experienced circumstances beyond their control (e.g. ill health, loss of records due to natural disaster or a large scale Internet failure) that prevented the submission of an application within the required timeframe and

b) 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.

The applicant must submit a written request for consideration of a late application, together with a statutory declaration and all relevant supporting material to the Back to Work team at compliance@desbt.qld.gov.au

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

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:

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/.

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.

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

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

If you are waiting for 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 Employer Support Payments are made through the QGrants system. To apply for the Back to Work Employer Support 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 because the employer needs 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 that 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 Applying for Back to Work page.

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