Wage subsidies

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Financial incentives are available to encourage businesses to hire and retain new employees.

Up to $10,000 (GST inclusive) is available for new employees who are:

  • between 15 and 25 years of age;
  • Indigenous Australians; or
  • 50 years of age and over.

Up to $6,500 (GST inclusive) is available for new employees who are:

  • between 25 and 29 years of age;
  • parents; or
  • individuals who are registered with an employment services provider for 12 months or more.

For a summary of what’s available see the Wage Subsidies Summary Table found below:

Payments are made by employment services providers to businesses over six months. Employers can negotiate how often they are made - for example weekly or fortnightly. There is also a kickstart payment option of up to 40 per cent of the total amount after four weeks of the job starting.

Employers can access a wage subsidy if they:

  • have an Australian Business number
  • have not previously received a wage subsidy for the same person
  • are not an Australian, state or territory government agency
  • offer a job that is expected to be ongoing and for an average of 20 hours per week over the six months of the wage subsidy agreement
  • offer a job that complies with employment standards for the position - for example, is suitable work and pays as a minimum the national award wage.

Apprenticeships and traineeships are also eligible for a wage subsidy along with other financial incentives available to employers under the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program. For more information visit the Australian Apprenticeship website.

Paid work trials can form part of a wage subsidy agreement, excluding those funded by the Employment Fund.

Employers who decide to hire an individual who has completed a National Work Experience Programme may also be eligible for a wage subsidy.

Some jobs are not eligible for a wage subsidy, including:

  • work that displaces an existing employee
  • commission-based, subcontracting or self-employment positions and
  • work for an immediate family member.

For the employer to receive a wage subsidy the new employee must be registered with an employment services provider (either jobactive, Transition to Work, Disability Employment Services or the Community Development Programme) for six months or more. Other eligibility requirements also apply based on the individual’s circumstances - talk to an employment services provider to find out more.

How to manage a wage subsidy

A wage subsidy consists of a head agreement and individual schedules for each new employee. These can be viewed and managed online or through the free jobactive mobile Employer App, also available from iTunes and Google Play.

For more information about how to manage a wage subsidy agreement see the Managing Wage Subsidies – how to guide found below:

Further information can also be found in the Managing Wage Subsidies from 1 January 2017 Guideline.

To print a fact sheet

For a printable version of this information see:

More Information

If you have any questions or would like to apply for a wage subsidy, contact an employment services provider within 12 weeks (84 calendar days) of the job starting.

If you are not registered with a provider you can find one through the provider search on the jobactive website or by calling the Employer Hotline on 13 17 15.

Call charges apply for calls to ‘13’ numbers from mobile phones.