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The SEQ Back To Work Program Offers New Opportunities For Business Owners Looking To Hire
Employers are often faced with tough decisions when it comes to employing staff, with the most common being whether or not they should actually take the plunge and hire someone. If you’re a business owner sitting there thinking ‘yes, that’s me!’ then you’ll be pleased to know that the Queensland Government recently introduced the Back to Work program, an initiative designed to help both business owners afford to hire an employee, as well as help unemployed members of the community find stable jobs.
WHAT IS THE BACK TO WORK PROGRAM?
The Queensland Government has allocated $27.5 million to help support employers who hire a long-term unemployed or young unemployed jobseeker within the South East Queensland region. These funds will be available for employers who hire an eligible jobseeker, with 2 potential payments on offer.
Employer Support Payment:
If you, your jobseeker and the job meet eligibility requirements, you will receive $15,000, allocated in 3 separate payments. This payment is only available when hiring someone who has been previously unemployed for 52 consecutive weeks or more.
Youth Boost Payment:
This payment is designed to encourage employers to hire young jobseekers aged between 15 -24 who have been previously unemployed for a minimum of 4 weeks. The payment is worth $20,000 and will be allocated in 3 separate parts.
If you’re looking to hire an employee but only need someone to fill a part-time role rather than a full-time role, you will still be available to receive the payments as long as you meet all necessary eligibility criteria. Those who hire part-time employees will receive 75% of the total support payment.
For those looking to bring on a trainee to participate in a traineeship program, you may also be eligible for additional financial incentives relating to traineeships, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria.
AM I ELIGIBLE?
To ensure that these funds are appropriately allocated, there are a number of eligibility criteria that the employer, employer and job position must meet.
At the current time, all employers are eligible to receive support payments, apart from government entities such as Local, State and Commonwealth Governments, as well as entities including government-owned corporations and statutory bodies. All employers are required to have high quality workplace safety and industrial relations record and demonstrate a genuine commitment to ongoing employment of the employee. As an employer, you may claim a maximum of 5 Back to Work SEQ applications.
To be an eligible employee, the following applies:
- you must be a permanent resident of Australia who resides within Queensland
- you cannot have worked for the employer within the last 12 months
- at the time the employer lodges the initial application, the employee must have been in a paid position with the employer for at least 4 weeks, but not longer than 12 weeks
- you cannot be a full-time student or have displaced any existing workers
- for the Employer Support Payments program, you must have been unemployed for at least 52 weeks prior to commencing employment with the employer
- for the Youth Boost Payments program, you must have been unemployed for at least 4 weeks prior to commencing employment with the employer
In order to be eligible to receive payments, the job position must be an ongoing, paid, full-time position of at least 35 hours per week, or an ongoing, paid, part-time position of at least 20 hours per week. You may also receive payments for a registered and eligible Queensland full-time or part-time apprenticeship/traineeship, which may further assist those employers who require assistance.
The introduction of this program is going to have significant benefits to both employers, employees and the community. For starters, employers who may previously have been unable to afford a permanent employee will now have a new and exciting opportunity to help them build and grow their local business. For the community, unemployment rates will hopefully decrease as those who were previously unemployed or those younger jobseekers are presented with ongoing opportunities to work and progress their careers.
If you’re interested in taking advantage of the Back to Work program and would like to hire an employee or offer a traineeship program, please get in contact with us today for more information!