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I hired an eligible employee in a full-time ongoing Victorian job. How much am I eligible to receive?

The following payments are available to employers who hire an eligible employee in a full-time ongoing Victorian job.

Payment amounts

Eligible employee Payment amount for full-time hires
  Post-1 July 2016 Post-1 November 2015 Pre-1 November 2015
Dairy industry workers $5000 $5000 N/A
Retrenched automotive workers $7000



*Claims between 1 April 2015 and
31 October 2015 can be made under
the retrenched worker category

  From 1 January 2017    
Unemployed people living in the Latrobe Valley $5000    
Retrenched workers from the Hazelwood Power Station $5000


Closed employee categories
Young unemployed N/A $5000 $1000
Long-term unemployed N/A $12,000 $2000
Retrenched workers N/A $5000 $1000
Out-of-trade apprentices N/A $5000 $1000
Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders N/A $5000 N/A
Apprentices and trainees N/A $5000


Current or recent youth justice clients N/A $5000 N/A
Current or recent criminal justice clients N/A $5000 N/A
Disability pensioners N/A $5000 N/A
Members of a drought-affected farm household N/A $5000 N/A
Social housing tenants N/A $5000 N/A
Sole parent pensioners N/A $5000 N/A
Refugees N/A $5000 N/A
Young persons in or exiting out-of-home care N/A $5000 N/A

* Employers hiring a part-time eligible employee can claim 75 per cent of the above payments.

* A reimbursement of up to $4000 is available to eligible employers who provide accredited training to an eligible employee.

Note: all Back to Work payments do not include GST.

When can I claim?

Payment for hiring

The broader Back to Work Scheme was fully subscribed on 18 July 2016 for all employee categories except:

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

Claims for these categories can be lodged on or after the day the eligible employee commenced employment.

The second instalment payment where applicable is available to an eligible employer who received a first instalment payment for their eligible employee.

Reimbursement for providing accredited training

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

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

Reimbursements for all other employee categories have closed.

Claims must be lodged after the date the costs have been incurred by the eligible employer. 

I have received my first instalment payment for hiring. How do I claim the second instalment payment?

The second instalment payment where applicable is available to an eligible employer who received a first instalment payment for their eligible employee.

Employers are encouraged to keep track of the date from which the second instalment payment is available and make their claim online by the due date.

What is included in salary?

Salary refers to the gross cash wage or salary that is payable for the job before taxation and other deductions. It includes over-award and penalty payments, allowances, commissions and bonuses. It does not include:

  • Non-cash benefits,
  • Employer (pre-tax) superannuation contributions, or
  • Reimbursements for work-related expenses such as travel

Does a person who was receiving the Commonwealth Government's Newstart or Youth Allowance qualify as unemployed?

A person who was receiving Newstart or Youth Allowance prior to starting an eligible job may qualify as being unemployed.

However, a person may be unemployed and may not be eligible to receive Newstart or Youth Allowance. This is because these allowances are subject to income and asset tests, and eligibility also depends on various factors such as whether the person is single, has a partner or dependent children.

On the other hand, a person may be employed in a casual or part-time job for more than 10 hours per week and still be eligible for Newstart or Youth Allowance, but not be an eligible employee under Back to Work.

Although receipt of the Newstart or Youth Allowance may be an indicator that a person is unemployed, it is not conclusive that the person meets the unemployment test. 

What does actively looking for work mean?

Actively looking for work includes one or more of a range of activities that the person must have engaged in during the relevant period such as:

  • Applying for jobs,
  • Approaching employers about job opportunities,
  • Registering with a recruitment agency and seeking regular updates,
  • Signing up with government job service agencies and completing the required activities,
  • Completing a short training course that is required for doing a particular job, or
  • Undertaking volunteer work

I provided accredited training to an eligible employee. How much am I eligible to receive?

An eligible employer that incurs costs in providing accredited training will be reimbursed for the employer's expenditure up to the following amounts (in addition to the relevant amount for hiring the eligible employee):

  • For providing accredited training to an eligible employee in a full-time position - up to $4000
  • For providing accredited training to an eligible employee in a part-time position - up to $3000

Note: employers must only claim for out-of-pocket expenses, i.e. expenses after taking into account any concessions, subsidies or other government funding. 

How do I claim a reimbursement for providing accredited training?

You can claim your accredited training payment:

  • As part of the process when claiming for an eligible employee, or
  • As a separate claim at a later time

Claim your payment

Note: claims can only be lodged after the date that the costs have been incurred.

Is there a cap on the number of payments available to an eligible employer? 

No. Eligible employers that hire multiple eligible employees can be paid for each employee who meets the eligibility criteria.

The names of employers receiving more than 100 payments per quarter will be published on our website.

What evidence do I need to support my claim?

The eligibility criteria can be categorised under three broad categories:

  • Eligible employer,
  • Eligible employee, and
  • Eligible job
Eligible employer You will need to provide your details and make a declaration that you believe you are an eligible employer when making your claim. The SRO may verify this in a number of ways, including by checking that you are not a government body or authority and by reviewing information obtained from WorkSafe about convictions under the Victorian workplace safety laws. 
Eligible employee Evidence of employee eligibility will depend upon the type of eligible employee. 
Eligible job

An eligible job is an ongoing full-time or part-time Victorian job within the salary limit applicable at the time the employment commences. The evidence to support the nature of the job and the salary will generally include the usual personnel and wage records that an employer is required to create and retain.

Evidence to prove that the job is a Victorian job will include the records showing that the employee is required to be insured in Victoria for WorkSafe purposes or any other documentation that verifies that the employee usually works in Victoria when performing the job.

BTW declaration for eligible employers

Do I need to provide any supporting evidence when making a claim?

No. Supporting evidence does not need to be provided when a claim is lodged.

However, the employer making the claim will have to declare they are satisfied that the evidence exists and aware that they, the employer, must retain the supporting evidence for five years.

How long do I need to keep supporting evidence?

Employers must keep the supporting evidence for a period of five years and must make it available to the SRO if requested.

When will penalties apply?

If a Back to Work payment is made as a result of a claimant's dishonesty, the Commissioner may impose a penalty (up to the amount the claimant is required to repay). 

Penalties may also apply if a claimant:

  • Fails to keep all records that are necessary to enable the claimant's eligibility for a Back to Work payment to be properly assessed,
  • Includes false or misleading information in a Back to Work record,
  • Fails to keep their Back to Work records for less than five years,
  • Wilfully damages or destroys a Back to Work record

I received a reimbursement for providing accredited training. However, the enrolment was later cancelled so I received a refund from the registered training provider. Do I have to pay the accredited training payment back?

Employers are required to adjust their accredited training payment claim within 14 days of a refund being received. The reimbursement for providing accredited training is only for out-of-pocket expenses.

If you receive a refund from the registered training provider, please email and include the following:

  • Back to Work reference (if known),
  • Employer name,
  • Employee name, and
  • Details of the refund

If the accredited training is cancelled but no refund is received, you are not required to adjust your reimbursement claim. 

Can a business that employs a worker just replace them with a new worker in order to receive a further payment?

The purpose of the Back to Work Scheme is to boost genuine, ongoing employment in Victoria.

Employers who hire a number of employees during the year may be eligible for a payment for each new employee provided each new employee meets the eligibility criteria. However, the SRO will monitor claims and may investigate to ensure that the employer and the employee have satisfied all of the eligibility criteria.

How does the SRO store and protect my information?

The SRO takes care to ensure that any personal information it holds about an individual is protected from misuse or loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. In addition, the SRO has policies in place to ensure that information is securely stored and is destroyed or disposed of when it is no longer relevant, or necessary for the purposes of performing SRO functions.