Employers will receive up to $10,000 in Commonwealth Government assistance if they hire a job seeker aged 50 or older under an enhanced wage-subsidy programme announced in the 2014–15 Budget.
The new Restart programme – which starts on 1 July 2014 and is worth $524.8 million over four years – more than triples the incentive payment previously announced by the Government.
The Restart programme is part of the Abbott Government’s Economic Action Strategy to build a strong, prosperous economy and a safe, secure Australia.
The Restart programme could benefit up to 32,000 mature-age job seekers each year, and it more than delivers on the Government’s 2013 election policy commitment to lift workforce participation and improve quality of life.
Eligible employers will receive $3,000 if they hire a full-time mature-age job seeker who was previously unemployed for a minimum of six months and employ that person for at least six months.
Once that job seeker has been working for the same employer for 12 months, the employer will receive another payment of $3,000.
The employer will then receive a further $2,000 once the same job seeker has been with them for 18 months, and $2,000 again at 24 months.
Older workers are crucial to increasing our nation’s productivity and will play a critical role in building a strong, prosperous economy for a safe and secure Australia.
As the population ages, we need to become a more productive nation. We can’t afford to have older Australians excluded from the workforce when they have a desire to work and have a positive contribution to make.
To be eligible for Restart, employers will need to demonstrate that the job they are offering is sustainable and ongoing, and that they are not displacing existing workers with subsidised job seekers.
When older Australians lose their jobs, they generally remain unemployed for a much longer period than the average job seeker. The jobs on offer dwindle and that impacts on confidence, as well as their quality of life.
The Abbott Government wants to reconnect older Australians with the incentive and rewards of work, which means a stronger economy, and higher productivity.
The Restart programme will replace the Seniors Employment Incentive Payment.
The subsidy will also be available on a pro rata basis where employers take on part-time workers for a minimum of 15 hours per week.