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Is the the Back to Work Scheme still open?

While first instalment payments are now closed, a second instalment payment is available to an eligible employer who received a first instalment payment, in one remaining category:

  • Employers of unemployed people living in the Latrobe Valley and retrenched workers from the Hazelwood Power Station who started work between 1 January 2017 and 30 June 2020. 

How much is the second  instalment payment?

You can claim up to:

  • $2500 per unemployed person living in the Latrobe Valley that you employ from 1 January 2017,
  • $2500 per retrenched Hazelwood Power Station worker employed from 1 January 2017.

Please note that:

  • You must have received a first instalment payment for the eligible employee.
  • The second instalment is payable nine months from lodging the first instalment claim provided the eligible employee has been continuously employed.

How do I claim the second instalment payment?

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

It is payable nine months from lodging the first instalment claim provided the eligible employee has been continuously employed. 

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

What is included in salary?

Salary refers to the gross cash wage or salary 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 receiving the Australian Government's Newstart or Youth Allowance qualify as unemployed?

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. 

A person can be unemployed and be ineligible to receive Newstart or Youth Allowance because both are subject to income and asset tests, and depend on various factors such as whether they are single, have a partner or dependent children.

A person can 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.

What does 'actively looking for work' mean?

It includes one or more of a range of activities that a 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.
  • Undertaking volunteer work.

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

No. Eligible employers hiring multiple eligible employees can be paid for each employee meeting the eligibility criteria.

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

Can a business employing a worker 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, we monitor and may investigate claims to ensure eligibility criteria is met.

How do you store and protect my information?

We take care to protect personal information from misuse or loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. Our policies ensure information is securely stored and destroyed or disposed of when it is no longer relevant or necessary to retain.

Last modified: 22 October 2021

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