Wage subsidies

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Wage subsidies are a financial incentive to encourage employers to hire eligible participants in ongoing jobs by contributing to the initial costs of hiring a new employee. Wage subsidies can help to build a business and give employers greater flexibility in their hiring options.

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

  • 15 to 24 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:

  • 25 to 29 years of age,
  • parents, or
  • registered with an employment services provider for 12 months or more.

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

Eligible businesses can receive payments over a six month period from employment services providers. Employers can negotiate how often they are made, for example weekly or fortnightly. There is also a kickstart payment option where employers can receive up to 40 per cent of the total amount after four weeks of the job starting if all eligibility requirements are met and the job remains ongoing.

Employers can access a wage subsidy if they:

  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • 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.

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.

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:

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.