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5 Facts About the Restart Wage Subsidy

The Restart wage subsidy is a Federal Government initiative to encourage employers to recruit workers aged 50 or over. In this article, we look at five key facts you need to know in order to be eligible to participate.

Employers to Receive Up to $10,000 in Subsidy Payments

Under the Restart wage subsidy, businesses that employ eligible mature-age job seekers aged 50 years or over for 12 months of more may receive payments of up to $10,000 GST inclusive.

Businesses that recruit mature-age employees working at least 30 hours per week for a period of 12 months will receive up to $6500 inclusive of GST. Employers will then be paid a bonus of up to $3500 inclusive of GST if the employment lasts for the full 12 months.

Flexible Payment Options

Under the Restart wage subsidy, employers are able to negotiate flexible payment options with their employment services providers from the day the employee starts in the job. This allows for the wage subsidies to be paid flexibly to employers in order to meet their business needs.

Part-time employment of mature-age workers still counts, and employing part-time eligible mature-age staff for 15–29 hours per week will attract a pro-rata wage subsidy starting from $3250, inclusive of GST.

Businesses that decide to employ 10 or more mature-age workers can help reduce the blow of startup hiring costs by bundling their Restart Wage Subsidy Agreements. They can then negotiate with their employment services provider to receive a portion of the wage subsidy as a lump sum payment upfront.

Importantly, employers receive payment for the actual hours worked by the employee. So, if the employment leaves early, employers will still be able to receive payment commensurate with the hours and duration of the employment.

The Types of Jobs You Can and Can’t Offer

You can offer jobs 15 hours or more per week that are ongoing and comply with minimum employment standards applicable to the position. Apprenticeships and traineeships can also be eligible.

The exception to this rule is the Tasmanian Jobs Programme, where you can access a wage subsidy if the position is full time in accordance with the relevant award classification, or a minimum of 25 hours per week if part time.

However, some positions are not eligible for the Restart wage subsidy, such as commission-based work, subcontracting or self-employment positions, working for an immediate family member or any work that displaces an existing employee.

Job Seeker Eligibility Tests Apply

Under the new provisions, an eligible mature-age job seeker must be 50 years old or older, unemployed and on income support for at least six months. They should be with jobactive, or in some instances a Disability Employment Services or Community Development Programme provider. Importantly, the job seeker must have no pending workers’ compensation claims against the business and must not be the employer’s immediate family member. The mature-age job seeker must also have started their position on or after 1 July 2014.

The ‘income support’ can include a wide range of government benefits including the Age Pension, Disability Support Pension, War Widows Pension, Newstart Allowance, Parenting Payment, Partner Service Pensioners, Carer Payment, Bereavement Allowance, Widow Allowance, Special Benefit, Mature Age Partner Allowance, Wife Pension, Widows B Pension and Austudy.

Business Employer Eligibility Tests Apply

Businesses will be eligible to apply only if they are a legal entity with a valid ABN and have not previously received a wage subsidy of the same type for the same job seeker. The subsidy does not apply to any recruitment made by an Australian, state or territory government agency.

In order to apply, employers need to contact their local jobactive or Disability Employment Services or Community Development Programme provider within 28 days of employing the job seeker to complete the application process for the wage subsidy.

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