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Wage subsidies guide for employers

Wage subsidies are a financial incentive to support Australian businesses to cover their costs of hiring and retaining eligible job seekers into sustainable and meaningful positions.

They also support employers in creating a diverse and inclusive workplace, which is known to improve workplace culture resulting in higher employee engagement and improved performance across the team.

What is a wage subsidy?

A wage subsidy is a payment from the Australian Government that encourages businesses to employ eligible candidates. Wage subsidies can be used to offset the costs of on-the-job training and is available through Workforce Australia and Disability Employment Services.


Who is eligible for wage subsidies?

Wage subsidies support many Australians into meaningful roles such as mature aged workers, young people, Indigenous Australians, people living with disability or the long-term unemployed, for example.

Generally, the criteria for wage subsidy eligibility can include but is not limited to:

Business criteria:

  • Must have an Australian Business Number;
  • Be providing an ongoing role and sustainable role of not less than six months;
  • Not be accessing a subsidy for an employee who has previously received one;
  • Provide a role that meets employment standards, such as offering the minimum wage; and
  • Not be a Government agency at a national, state or territory level.

Employee criteria:

  • Must not be an immediate family member of the employer;
  • Be supported by Employment Services; and
  • Work the required average hours across the duration outlined within the agreement.


Can my business access wage subsidies?

atWork Australia can help you understand if reasonable adjustment subsidies are right for you and your business. We can give you more details about the criteria and the funding brackets available depending on your employee’s circumstances.

We know running a business has competing priorities, that’s why atWork Australia has a dedicated wage subsidy team who can support your business to access and maintain wage subsidies, should you be eligible.

How does accessing wage subsidies support my business?

A wage subsidy is a financial incentive and can be used to subsidise costs related to hiring, training or helping a new employee settle in. It also provides incentive to look for a more diverse workforce who have a range of skills and abilities you may have not considered in the past.

Read more about how a diverse workforce is benefiting Australian businesses.


What should I be aware of when accessing wage subsidies?

When you enter into a wage subsidy you will need to sign an agreement. Some of the requirements include ensuring your new employee meets a certain number of work hours or is employed for more than six months, for example.

Our dedicated wage subsidy team can support you to learn more about wage subsidy agreements and to find out if they are right for your business.

Your business will need to be set up with a MyGov ID and sometimes a Workforce Australia online business account. Click here to learn more from Services Australia and watch this video to learn how to link your business.


How much can I get?

In Workforce Australia you may be eligible for wage subsidies of up to $10,000 for each eligible employee.

In Disability Employment Services there are a number of different wage subsidy options between $1,650 up to $10,000.


Where can I find out more about wage subsidies?

You can learn more about wage subsidies here, or by downloading our fact sheet.


Our atWork Australia team helps businesses access wage subsidies. Contact us today on 1300 080 856.

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