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There are four broad criteria governing eligibility for payments under the Back to Work Scheme:

  1. The employer must be an eligible employer,
  2. The employee must be an eligible employee,
  3. The job must be an eligible job,
  4. The claim for a payment must be lodged within the relevant timeframe

Special Gazette

Special Gazette - Latrobe Valley

General Gazette - Latrobe Valley

What is an eligible employer?

All employers are eligible, other than:

What is a poor workplace safety record?

An employer has a poor workplace safety record if that employer has been convicted or found guilty of an offence under legislation administered and enforced by the Victorian WorkCover Authority (WorkSafe), or for a related offence prosecuted by WorkSafe under the Crimes Act 1958:

  • Within five years prior to the date the eligible employee commenced employment, or
  • If the conviction or finding of guilt related to a workplace fatality, within seven years prior to the date the eligible employee commenced employment

What is a recent employer?

A recent employer of an eligible employee is an employer that had previously employed that employee in the past 12 months.

What is an eligible employee?

Eligible employees must be unemployed and seeking work. A person is an eligible employee if they fall into one of the following categories and started employment with the eligible employer in the relevant date range.

 
Employee category Requirements Employment start date

Dairy industry workers

A dairy industry worker is a person who is a member of a dairy farm household or a retrenched dairy worker.

A member of a dairy farm household is a person who, at the time of commencing employment with the eligible employer has, or immediately before commencing employment with the employer had, for their home address a property operating as a dairy farm in Victoria.

A retrenched dairy worker is an employee who lost their last job in Victoria because their last job was made redundant (i.e. the job was no longer needed) or their employer became insolvent or bankrupt and their employer was in the Victorian dairy industry.

The dairy industry (including a dairy farm) is a person or business that holds or held a dairy industry licence with Dairy Food Safety Victoria in respect of the business, that was current and valid at the time immediately before the eligible employee commenced employment with the eligible employer.

An eligible employer for a member of a dairy farm household may not be the farm where the eligible employee lives, or a business owned or run by that farm.

1 July 2016 to 30 June 2018 or until the $15 million fund is fully subscribed (whichever occurs first)

Retrenched automotive workers

A person is a retrenched automotive worker if they lost their last job in Victoria because it was made redundant (i.e. their job was no longer needed) or their employer became insolvent or bankrupt and their employer was in the automotive industry.

The automotive industry includes a business that was in operation in Victoria before May 2013 in one or more of the following categories:

  • Motor vehicle producer,
  • Producer of automotive components,
  • Producer of automotive machine tools or automotive tooling,
  • Materials supplier (e.g. a supplier of plastics, metals, or oils) to original equipment motor vehicle producers, or
  • Provider of automotive services to original equipment motor vehicle producers

A motor vehicle producer is a producer of motor vehicles that have a gross vehicle weight of not more than 3.5 tonnes.

An automotive component producer is a producer of at least one kind of automotive component to the original equipment sector. Automotive components do not include a component that is not purpose-built for automotive use (e.g. a fastener or electrical device in general use).

A materials supplier is a person who supplies materials to the automotive industry that are directly related to the production of motor vehicles (e.g. plastics, metals, oils).

An automotive machine tool or automotive tooling producer is a producer of automotive machine tools or automotive tooling of a kind that are designed and built to be used solely for the production of motor vehicles, engines, engine components or automotive components.

A provider of automotive services includes a business that provides design, development or engineering services to the automotive industry.

1 July 2016 to 30 June 2018 or until the $15 million fund is fully subscribed (whichever occurs first)

Unemployed person living in the Latrobe Valley

An unemployed person living in the Latrobe Valley is a person who:

  • Was unemployed prior to starting employment, and 
  • At the time of starting employment with the eligible employer, has or immediately before, had:
    • an address within the Shire of Baw Baw, Shire of Wellington, or the Latrobe City Council

1 January 2017 to 30 June 2018 or until the $3 million fund is fully subscribed (whichever occurs first)

Retrenched worker from the Hazelwood Power Station

A retrenched worker from the Hazelwood Power Station is an employee who lost their last job in Victoria because their last job was made redundant (i.e. the job was no longer needed) and that job was located at the Hazelwood Power Station.

1 January 2017 to 30 June 2018 or until the $3 million fund is fully subscribed (whichever occurs first)

Closed employee categories

Young unemployed persons

A person is a young unemployed person if they:

  • Are aged 15 to 25 years (inclusive) at the time they start employment,
  • Were unemployed for a continuous period of at least three months prior to starting employment, and
  • Were actively looking for full-time or part-time work during that period

1 April 2015 to 18 April 2016

Long-term unemployed persons

The requirements of this category differ depending on whether the employee started work before, on or after 1 November 2015.

If the person started work between 1 April 2015 and 31 October 2015, they will meet the requirements if they were:

If the person started work on or after 1 November 2015, they will meet the requirements if they were:

1 April 2015 to 18 April 2016

Retrenched workers

A person is a retrenched worker if they lost their last job because it was made redundant (i.e. their job was no longer needed) or their employer became insolvent or bankrupt.

1 April 2015 to 18 April 2016

Dairy industry workers

A dairy industry worker is a person who is a member of a dairy farm household or a retrenched dairy worker.

A member of a dairy farm household is a person who, at the time of starting employment with the eligible employer has, or immediately before starting employment with the employer had, for their home address a property operating as a dairy farm in Victoria.

A retrenched dairy worker is an employee who lost their last job in Victoria because their last job was made redundant (i.e. the job was no longer needed) or their employer became insolvent or bankrupt and their employer was in the Victorian dairy industry.

The dairy industry (including a dairy farm) is a person or business that holds or held a dairy industry licence with Dairy Food Safety Victoria in respect of the business, that was current and valid at the time immediately before the eligible employee started employment with the eligible employer.

An eligible employer for a member of a dairy farm household may not be the farm where the eligible employee lives, or a business owned or run by that farm.

1 November 2015 to 30 June 2016

Retrenched automotive workers

A person is a retrenched automotive worker if they lost their last job in Victoria because it was made redundant (i.e. their job was no longer needed) or their employer became insolvent or bankrupt and their employer was in the automotive industry.

The automotive industry includes a business that had been in operation in Victoria before May 2013 in one or more of the following categories:

  • Motor vehicle producer,
  • Producer of automotive components,
  • Producer of automotive machine tools or automotive tooling,
  • Materials supplier (e.g. a supplier of plastics, metals, or oils) to original equipment motor vehicle producers, or
  • Provider of automotive services to original equipment motor vehicle producers

A motor vehicle producer is a producer of motor vehicles that have a gross vehicle weight of not more than 3.5 tonnes.

An automotive component producer is a producer of at least one kind of automotive component to the original equipment sector. Automotive components do not include a component that is not purpose-built for automotive use (e.g. a fastener or electrical device in general use).

A materials supplier is a person who supplies materials to the automotive industry that are directly related to the production of motor vehicles (e.g. plastics, metals, oils).

An automotive machine tool or automotive tooling producer is a producer of automotive machine tools or automotive tooling of a kind that are designed and built to be used solely for the production of motor vehicles, engines, engine components or automotive components.

A provider of automotive services includes a business that provides design, development or engineering services to the automotive industry.

1 November 2015 to 30 June 2016

Out-of-trade apprentices

An out-of-trade apprentice is a retrenched worker who has had their training contract in an approved training scheme cancelled by their employer because of a lack of work. If a new eligible employer hires the out-of-trade apprentice to resume and complete their apprenticeship, the new employer may be eligible for a Back to Work payment.

1 April 2015 to 18 July 2016

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

An Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander is a person:

  • Of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent,
  • Who identifies as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin, and
  • Who is accepted as such by the community with which the person associates

1 November 2015 to 18 July 2016

Apprentices and trainees

A person is an apprentice or trainee for the purposes of the Back to Work Scheme if they:

  • Were unemployed prior to starting employment, and
  • Are undertaking an apprenticeship or traineeship through a training contract in an approved training scheme

1 November 2015 to 18 July 2016

Current youth justice clients

A person is a current youth justice client if at the time of starting employment they are supervised by youth justice on a relevant court order.

A relevant court order is a:

  • Deferral of sentence or supervised bail order (supervised by youth justice from the Children’s Court or adult courts),
  • Probation order,
  • Youth supervision order,
  • Youth attendance order

1 November 2015 to 18 July 2016

Recent youth justice clients

A person is a recent youth justice client if, within the last 12 months, they:

  • Exited from a youth justice centre on temporary leave or a youth parole order, or
  • Were released on remission, or
  • Were released after a short sentence, or
  • Were released after a period of remand

 

1 November 2015 to 18 July 2016

Current criminal justice clients

A person is a current criminal justice client if at the time of starting employment they are supervised by Corrections Victoria under a community correction order (including those with supervision or community work conditions).

1 November 2015 to 18 July 2016

Recent criminal justice clients

A person is a recent criminal justice client if, within the last 12 months, they exited an adult prison, either:

  • On a parole order, or
  • After completing their sentence, or 
  • After a period of remand

 

1 November 2015 to 18 July 2016

Disability pensioners

A disability pensioner is a person in receipt of the disability support pension at the time of starting employment.

1 November 2015 to 18 July 2016

Members of a drought-affected farm household

A person is a member of a drought-affected farm household if their home address is a farm property in north-west Victoria at the time of starting employment with the eligible employer, or their home address was a farm property in north-west Victoria immediately before starting employment with the eligible employer.

Note: the farm property itself (or a business owned or run by that farm) is not eligible to hire the employee.

North-west Victoria means the area within the shires of Ararat (only from March 2016), Buloke, Yarriambiak, Loddon, Northern Grampians, Horsham, Hindmarsh, Gannawarra, Pyrenees, Central Goldfields, and West Wimmera.

1 November 2015 to 18 July 2016

Social housing tenants

A person is a social housing tenant if at the time of starting employment they are a:

  • Tenant of public housing or community housing, or
  • Person of working age living in that household

Public housing is long-term housing owned and managed by the Director of Housing.

Community housing is housing owned and/or managed by a registered not-for-profit housing agency.

1 November 2015 to 18 July 2016

Sole parent pensioners

A sole parent pensioner is a person in receipt of the parenting payment single payment at the time of starting employment.

1 November 2015 to 18 July 2016

Refugees

A refugee is a person who at the time of starting employment is:

  • A current holder of a visa under the Australian Government’s refugee and humanitarian program, or
  • Is currently listed on that visa under the "split family provisions", and
  • The visa was first granted up to five years before starting employment with the eligible employer

Note: the holder of a bridging visa, who has applied for a visa under the refugee and humanitarian program, is considered part of the refugee and humanitarian program for the purposes of the BTW scheme where the bridging visa enables the holder to work in Australia.

1 November 2015 to 18 July 2016

Young persons in out-of-home care

A person is a young person in out of home care if at the time of starting employment they are:

  • Under 18 years of age, and
  • In the care of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services

1 November 2015 to 18 July 2016

Young persons exiting out-of-home care

A person is a young person exiting out-of-home care if, within the last 12 months, the person:

  • Left the care of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services,
  • On leaving the care, the person:
    • was of an age to live independently (i.e. over 16 years of age), or
    • intended to live independently

1 November 2015 to 18 July 2016

Note: The second instalment payment is available to an eligible employer who received a first instalment payment.

The second instalment, where applicable, is payable nine months from the lodgement of the first instalment claim provided the eligible employee has been continuously employed.

What does unemployed mean?

A person is unemployed for the purposes of the Back to Work Scheme if they:

  • Did not carry out any form of paid work immediately prior to starting employment, or
  • Had a casual or part-time job of up to 10 hours per week on average prior to starting employment

What is an eligible job?

An eligible job is an ongoing full-time or part-time Victorian job offered by an eligible employer where the salary does not exceed the salary limit.

A casual job is not an eligible job.

A casual job is a job without any guaranteed hours of work and/or which does not entitle the employee to paid sick leave or annual leave as per National Employment Standards.

What is the salary limit?

The salary limit for a full-time job is $120,000 per annum.

The salary limit for a part-time employee is apportioned based on the number of hours worked. For example, if a part-time employee works on average 25 hours per week, the salary limit is 25/35 x $120,000 = $85,714.

What is an ongoing job?

An ongoing job is a job which continues indefinitely until the employer or employee ends the employment relationship. It does not include a job for a fixed period of time or a job undertaken for a particular task or project.

An apprenticeship is considered to be an ongoing job. Similarly, a job offered to an out-of-trade-apprentice to resume and complete an apprenticeship is considered to be an ongoing job.

What is a full-time job?

A full-time job is a job that requires, on average, at least 35 hours of work each week. The employee should be entitled to at least the minimum standards of paid personal (sick) and annual leave under the National Employment Standards for a full-time employee.

What is a part-time job?

A part-time job is a job that requires, on average, at least 20 hours of work each week. The employee should be entitled to at least the minimum standards of paid personal (sick) and annual leave under the National Employment Standards for a part-time employee.

In relation to the disability pensioner (a closed category of eligible employee), a part-time job is a job which requires, on average, at least eight hours per week.

What is a Victorian job?

A Victorian job is a job which is connected to Victoria under WorkSafe legislation, (i.e. a job which would require the employer to have WorkSafe insurance in respect of the person undertaking that job).

Employers who self-insure are also eligible to claim a Back to Work payment.

What is accredited training?

Accredited training means courses at Certificate 1 level and above, provided by a registered training provider that has a current contract to deliver training under the Victorian Training Guarantee. 

A reimbursement of up to $4000 is available to eligible employers who provide accredited training to:

  • Dairy industry workers (who started employment from 1 July 2016)
  • Retrenched automotive workers (who started employment from 1 July 2016)
  • Unemployed people living the Latrobe Valley (who started employment from 1 January 2017)
  • Retrenched workers from the Hazelwood Power Station (who started employment from 1 January 2017) 

Reimbursements for all other employee categories have closed.