Employer Incentive Payment

Back to Work support payments of up to $15,000 are available to employers who hire an eligible unemployed Queenslander.

Program key details
Eligible employers All employers can apply, except government organisations and statutory bodies. Read more about employer eligibility
Status Applications are open all year round
Available payment Up to $15,000 per eligible employee. Payments are made over 3 instalments and must be claimed within strict timeframes
Key documents

The Employer Incentive Payment is a payment for employers under the Back to Work program. The program supports businesses to employ Queenslanders who face a disadvantage in the labour market and who have experienced a minimum period of unemployment. The program is available throughout regional Queensland and in select areas of South East Queensland.

Eligibility

All employers can apply, except government entities, which include:

  • local, state and Australian governments
  • government-owned corporations
  • statutory bodies.

Each employer may enter into a maximum of 4 Back to Work agreements. This cap includes both Youth Boost and Employer Incentive payments for employees employed after 1 July 2021.

Employers are only eligible to receive one type of Back to Work support payment (either the Employer Incentive Payment or Youth Boost payment) per eligible employee.

To be eligible for funding, you must:

  • comply with all workplace health and safety, industrial relations and taxation laws
  • show a genuine commitment to ongoing employment of the employee.

If the employer is an unincorporated association or trust, the person entering into the agreement must prove that they are operating under the rules and authority of the unincorporated association or trust. The cap of 4 agreements will apply across all trustees of a single trust.

The eligible employee must live in Queensland and:

  • be an Australian or New Zealand citizen, or Australian permanent resident (including humanitarian entrants), or a temporary resident with the necessary visa and work permits on the pathway to permanent residency
  • belong to one or more of the following groups
    • First Nations peoples
    • people with disability
    • culturally and linguistically diverse peoples
    • long-term unemployed persons
  • Employers who hire a young person (aged between 15–24 years) who meets the minimum unemployment period, whether they belong to the above groups or not, may be eligible a 'boosted' incentive payment — find out more about Youth Boost.
  • have been unemployed for the minimum specified period for their group
    • 8 weeks for First Nations peoples
    • 8 weeks for people with disability
    • 8 weeks for culturally and linguistically diverse peoples
    • 52 weeks for long-term unemployed persons
  • not have worked for you in the 52 weeks before the state date entered in the initial application
  • have started working for you from or after 1 July 2021
  • have been in paid employment with you for at least 4 weeks, but not more than 12 weeks, when you apply
  • not be a full-time student and must not have been a full-time student within the 8 weeks before starting their employment with you
  • not have taken the place of an existing worker.

The employee must not be:

  • an owner of the company, business or joint venture applying for the payment
  • a sole trader applying for the payment
  • a partner in the partnership applying for the payment
  • a director of the company applying for the payment
  • a significant shareholder (more than 50% shareholding) in the company applying for the payment. This may include being the trustee, a beneficiary under the trust or an owner of a directly controlled or related entity.

The eligible job must be mainly located in one of the below program delivery areas.

Regional areas

  • Wide Bay-Burnett
  • North Queensland/Whitsunday
  • Far North Queensland
  • Mackay/Isaac
  • Central Queensland
  • North West Queensland
  • South West Queensland.

South East Queensland local government areas

  • Ipswich
  • Lockyer Valley
  • Logan
  • Moreton Bay
  • Scenic Rim
  • Somerset.

It must also be one of the following:

  • ongoing paid full-time employment, at least 35 hours per week on average
  • ongoing paid part-time employment, at least 20 hours per week on average
  • for a person with a disability who has a workplace assessment to work between 8 and 20 hours per week, ongoing paid part-time employment with hours consistent with their approved benchmark, on average.

The job may not be:

  • a casual job, including one where there is no firm commitment to ongoing work with an agreed pattern of work—read more about casual work
  • periodic employment (e.g. short-term engagements like hiring on a weekly basis)
  • a transition from casual or periodic employment to ongoing part-time or ongoing full-time employment
  • an indirect employment relationship where the employee is contracted through a labour hire arrangement (e.g. when you contract another business to provide you with workers). This may include arrangements through group training organisations where the apprentice or trainee is not directly employed by you.

How payments are made

Payments are made directly to the eligible employer, in 3 instalments. For full-time jobs:

  1. first payment of $4,500 is made after 4 weeks of continuous employment and approval of the initial application
  2. second payment of $5,250 is made after 26 weeks of continuous employment with the same employer, and approval of the second payment claim
  3. final payment of $5,250 is made after 52 weeks of continuous employment with the same employer, and approval of the final payment claim.

Part-time jobs receive 75% of the full payment.

You can only claim for second and final payments for an employee if:

  • you are the employer who made the previous payment applications/claims for that employee
  • the previous payments were approved.

Pro-rata (part) payments are not available for employment less than the required continuous employment period.

Application process

Applications must be made online via QGrants.

You must answer the questions in the application truthfully. Applications found to include false or misleading information will not be approved and may be referred to the relevant law enforcement authority.

The application is arranged in the following sections:

  • employer details – addressing employer eligibility
  • employee details – addressing employee eligibility
  • employment details – addressing job eligibility
  • attachments – to support the information supplied
  • required declarations and consents.

You'll need to supply important information, including your:

  • contact information
  • bank account details
  • business information.

Remember to keep your contact information up to date so we can contact you about future applications, claims and reviews.

Apply now

Refer to our QGrants application help for instructions on applying through QGrants, status definitions and troubleshooting.

Evidence required for initial application

You'll need to provide the following information and documents for every new Back to Work support payment application.

All scanned documents must be valid, current and legible and in a standard format (e.g. PDF, JPEG or Word). Documents requiring clarification or resubmission may result in delays to the application process.

The initial application and subsequent claims must be made within strict timeframes. If it's getting close to a cut-off date and you're waiting on evidence documents (e.g. confirmation advice of your Australian Business Number), you can still apply.

Submit your application with the information and documents available and attach a list of the documents you are waiting for. We'll contact you to discuss the next steps.

You must provide evidence of your identity. This identification must:

  • match the name and details of the person named in the QGrants account as the person submitting the application
  • and
  • be witnessed by an independent authorised person, such as a Queensland Justice of the Peace (JP) or Commissioner for Declarations (Cdec).

Search for your nearest JP or Cdec.

There are 2 options to substantiate your identity:

  • Option 1: Verification of identity form – 100 point check
    A verification of identity form may be completed and presented to a JP or Cdec to be witnessed along with a selection of proof of identity documents.
  • Option 2: Queensland statutory declaration
    A statutory declaration may be completed by the applicant and presented to a JP or Cdec to be witnessed. Prepare your statutory declaration using the following statement: I am the responsible party who has submitted this Back to Work application on behalf of {insert business name} for {insert employee name}.

It is necessary to verify the eligibility of the business referenced on the application being submitted.

This is because once approved, the application forms a legal agreement, and it is necessary to ensure the business party to the agreement is the business employing the employee. There are 2 documents the applicant can supply to substantiate the identity of the business.

Option 1: ABN confirmation advice

All registered businesses will have received an Australian Business Number (ABN) confirmation advice at the time of registering the business. This may have been made available to the business electronically at the time the ABN was registered or have been sent to the registered postal address in the mail. If you cannot locate this document, a copy of the advice (which includes a letter) can be requested from the Australian Business Register.

The ABN and registered business name on the ABN confirmation advice must match the ABN and organisation name in your QGrants organisation account and be present on the employee payslips provided in the application.

Note that the following will not be accepted:

  • an extract
  • Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) notification of the ABN details
  • print out or screenshot of the ABN lookup
  • GST registration and/or tax file number.

Option 2: 100 point identification check

A Verification of identity form – 100 point check may be completed by the business owner, director, partner, trustee or public officer associated with the ABN and presented to a Queensland Justice of the Peace or Commissioner for Declarations to be witnessed along with a selection of documents.

Only return your witnessed 100 point check form to us. You are not required to provide copies of the documents listed above.

In Queensland, under the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld) (the Act), an employer must be insured for their legal liability to pay compensation and damages to their workers.

You must show proof of being insured by providing your WorkCover policy or licence number and expiration date in your application. We may share the information you provide about your business, including your WorkCover policy or licence number, with WorkCover Queensland to verify that you are complying with the Act.

If you are self-insured for workers' accident and injury liability, you must provide information about this insurance, including which agency issued your self-insurance licence.

An employee must have:

  • been in ongoing and continuous paid full-time or part-time employment with your business for at least 4 full weeks before you make the initial application
  • worked the minimum averaged hours relevant to the application.

To prove these requirements have been met, you must provide copies of the employee's payslips for the first 4 continuous weeks of their employment. Weekly, fortnightly or monthly payslips can be submitted. Keep in mind:

  • Timesheets or a payroll summary report is not enough proof—you must submit payslips.
  • The ABN and name on the payslips must match the ABN and name on the ABN confirmation advice and QGrants organisation account.
  • Payslips must meet the minimum requirements as set out by Fair Work Australia under the Fair Work Act 2009 and Fair Work Regulations 2009. This includes showing the amount of superannuation contributions made for the employee's benefit during the pay period (or the amount of contributions that need to be made). Read more about the legal requirements for payslips.

An employee consent form must be included with all initial payment applications submitted in QGrants.

This form must be completed by the employee, with true and correct information to the best of the employee's knowledge and be signed and dated by the employee relevant to the application. If the employee is unsure of the answer to any of the questions, it is recommended that a letter be attached to the employee consent form to explain their answer in greater detail.

Evidence is required to substantiate the identity of the job seeker that has been employed. Acceptable identification documents are:

  • Australian driver licence
  • adult proof-of-age card (e.g. 18+ card)
  • birth certificate
  • citizenship certificate
  • passport.

Note: If a non-Australian passport is being submitted as evidence, a letter issued by the Australian Government to the employee outlining their visa details must also be submitted.

The employee identification must be current (not expired) at the date the employee commenced employment. The first name, surname, and date of birth of the employee identification must match the first name, surname, and date of birth on the application.

If an employee has a disability and an employment services assessment (ESAT) or a job capacity assessment (JCA) has been done to work between 8 and 20 hours per week, you must submit one of the following:

  • a signed letter issued by a disability employment services provider
  • a JCA endorsed by the Department of Human Services.

To meet the eligibility criteria, the:

  • document must show the employee's approved benchmark working hours
  • employee must be working to their approved benchmark working hours
  • payslips must align with the approved benchmark working hours.

These eligible part-time jobs will attract 75% of the full-time payment.

Unincorporated associations and trust arrangements may apply for Back to Work support.

The person who is authorised to apply on behalf of the management committee or the trustee(s) must provide evidence that they are operating within the rules and authority of the unincorporated association or trust deed when entering into an agreement with us (Department of Employment, Small Business and Training).

These declarations must include that the applicant:

  • will comply with the requirements of unincorporated associations or trust deed under the Back to Work program
  • is appropriately indemnified out of the funds of the unincorporated association or trust arrangement
  • agrees to be personally liable under the arrangement with us.

Application timeframes

We must receive the:

  • initial application for first payment within 12 weeks of the employee completing 4 weeks of continuous employment
  • claim for second payment within 12 weeks of the employee completing 26 weeks of continuous employment
  • claim for final payment within 12 weeks of the employee completing 52 weeks of continuous employment.

Submit your applications will before the cut-off dates. Applications and claims received outside of the timeframes will not be paid.

If you might not be able to apply in time, contact us immediately at backtowork@desbt.qld.gov.au.

Late applications

If there were circumstances outside of your control that prevented you from applying in time (e.g. ill health, loss of records due to a natural disaster or a large-scale internet failure), request consideration of your application:

Note: Not knowing about the Back to Work program at the right time is not an acceptable reason for a late application.

We will notify you of our decision within 60 business days from when we receive your written request.