Wage subsidies

jobactive logo

What are Wage Subsidies?

A wage subsidy is a financial incentive of up to $10,000 (GST inclusive) that is available to quantifying employers who hire eligible job seekers.

This financial incentive is designed to encourage employers to expand their business and employ new staff, which will help boost the economy and create more jobs.

Current Arrangements up to 31 December 2016

Currently employers can receive up to $10,000 (GST inclusive) over 12 months if they employ eligible job seekers. The amount will vary depending on the number of hours worked, but to receive a wage subsidy, the employee must work for a minimum of 15 hours per week.

Fact sheets on the requirements for current wage subsidies can be found;

Post 1 January 2017 Arrangements

To simplify the process of applying for a wage subsidy, a number of changes will come into effect 1 January 2017:  

  • all wage subsidies will be paid to employers over six months instead of 12 months
  • providers have discretion to make an optional ‘kickstart’ payment of up to 40 per cent of the total wage subsidy to the employer four weeks after the job starts
  • employers have greater flexibility to choose how often the wage subsidy instalments are paid
  • all payments will be paid at a flat rate removing complex pro rata calculations
  • the minimum hours required for a wage subsidy agreement is an average of 20 hours per week, over the six month term of the agreement
  • wage subsidy agreements are able to be signed up to 12 weeks (84 calendar days) after the employment has commenced (instead of 28 days)
  • a new Youth Bonus Wage Subsidy of up to $10,000 (GST inclusive) will target 15 to 24 year old job seekers
  • time spent in paid work trials can be included in wage subsidy agreements (this does not apply to paid work trials funded under the Employment Fund).

Employer Choice

Due to these changes, from now until 31 December 2016, employers have the choice to enter into a 12 month agreement under the current policy, or wait and enter into a six month agreement under the new policy coming into effect on 1 January 2017.

Employers are encouraged to contact an employment services provider as soon as possible to discuss options based on individual business needs and circumstances.

Fact sheets on the new, improved wage subsidies from 1 January 2017 can be found;

More Information

If you have any questions or would like to apply for a wage subsidy, contact a local jobactive or Disability Employment Services or Community Development Programme provider. You can find your local provider by calling the Employer Hotline on 13 17 15 or through the provider search on the jobactive website.

Note that call charges apply for calls to ‘13’ numbers from mobile phones.