Payments now available to Cairns Back to Work employers

Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development The Honourable Di Farmer

Employers in the Cairns Region may now be able to start claiming up to $20,000 under the Palaszczuk Government’s $140 million revitalised Back to Work program.

The program, which offers incentive payments to employers that take on disadvantaged job seekers, has already helped more than 3,500 people in Cairns into work.

Minister for Employment and Small Business Di Farmer said that applications for initial payments to employers were now open.

“Investing in skills and backing small business are at the heart of our COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan because we believe wherever you are in Queensland, you deserve the chance to get a good job,” Minister Farmer said.

Speaker of the Queensland Parliament and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said the program had helped thousands of people get jobs.

“Since 2016, the Back to Work program has seen more than 25,800 people get into work because of the assistance provided to more than 12,100 employers,” Mr Pitt said.

“Employers can make their application for an initial payment if they have employed someone permanently for at least four weeks. As we launched the revitalised program on July 1, some employers will be able to start applying now.”

Member for Cairns, Michael Healy, said the Back to Work program had made a big difference in the region.

“Since 2016 over $36.9 million has helped more than 3,500 people get jobs with 1,500 businesses in the Cairns Region,” Mr Healy said.

“There are Back to Work support payments of up to $15,000 to businesses who employ an eligible job seeker including the long term unemployed, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and those with a disability.

“The Palaszczuk Government is also providing a $20,000 Youth Boost payment to help young people here in the Cairns Region get into work.

“Back to Work provides employers with incentive payments, but also access to fantastic on the ground wrap around support for employers and disadvantaged job seekers.”

Member for Barron River Craig Crawford said the program supported small businesses across the region.

“We fund these job creating initiatives not only because they provide vital career opportunities to Queenslanders, but because they help small businesses too: over 80% of employers benefiting from Back to Work are small businesses,” Mr Crawford said.

“Initial payment applications must be received within 12 weeks of the employee completing four weeks of continuous employment, so if you’ve hit that milestone already now’s the time to get your application in.”

The application cap on employers reset to zero on 1 July 2021. This means an eligible employer who utilised the previous program may make a further four applications under the revitalised Back to Work program.

Further payments can be applied for after 26 weeks and 52 weeks of continuous employment.

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