Indigenous Wage Subsidy (IWS)

Employers who want to employ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can get financial help from the Australian Government. This help is available through the Indigenous Wage Subsidy (IWS) program.

On 18 September 2013, responsibility for this programme was transferred to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

The Indigenous Wage Subsidy (IWS) is an incentive paid to employers when they employ eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on a continuing basis.

The program provides a wage subsidy to employers of eligible Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander job seekers after 13 and 26 weeks in a job. Some employers may also be eligible for retention bonuses and funds to cover training costs.

Information for employers on how to apply for the subsidy is available. Information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander job seekers is also available.

What funding is available?

The IWS is paid after the new employee has been in the job for 13 and 26 weeks. The amount of money paid to the employer is:

  • up to $4400 (including GST) for ongoing full-time positions of 35 hours or more per week
  • up to $2200 (including GST) for ongoing part-time positions of 15 hours or more  per week.

An additional retention bonus (if eligible) may also be available, this is:

  • $1100 for full time positions or $550 for part time positions where the employee is employed for 13 weeks or more.
  • $1100 for full time positions or $550 for part time positions where the employee is employed for 26 weeks or more.

Employers may also claim reimbursement of up to $550 in Career Development Assistance (including GST) for eligible employees who enrol in an accredited training course, obtain a ticket (such as Stop/Go), or a Licence (such as forklift), within their first 26 weeks in a job.

Want to know more?

  • call the Indigenous Employment Line on 1802 102.