2015 Budget initiatives to assist older workers
From 1 July 2015 the Australian Government is introducing new employment services called jobactive. These services will replace Job Services Australia to help more job seekers find work and be more responsive to the needs of employers by preparing job seekers with the skills and attributes that employers are looking for.
Under jobactive, job seekers on income support will have access to tailored assistance from a jobactive provider based on their assessed needs. This could include help with looking for work, writing a resume and preparing for interviews, referrals to jobs and training that is suited to the skills that local employers need. People looking for work who are not receiving income support may also be eligible to receive some services under jobactive. For more information, job seekers can contact the National Customer Service Line on 1300 854 414.
Employers will be able to receive assistance from jobactive providers to help them find staff by screening and matching job seekers to available vacancies and by providing support once a new employee starts. These services are provided at no charge and employers may be able to receive financial help through a wage subsidy when they employ an eligible mature age, young, long term unemployed or Indigenous job seeker.
The Restart programme is a wage subsidy paid to employers to assist mature age people participate in the workplace at the same time as encouraging employers to expand their business and benefit from the wealth of experience mature age workers bring. Job seekers who are 50 years of age or older and have been unemployed and on income support* for six months or more can attract a Restart wage subsidy for an employer. Eligible mature age job seekers employed for 30 hours can attract the full rate of the Restart subsidy, and those employed between 15-29 hours per week can access a pro-rata amount.
As part of the ‘Growing Jobs and Small Business Package’ announced in the 2015 Budget, the Restart wage subsidy has been redesigned to make it easier for employers to access. From 1 November 2015, employers will be able to access the full subsidy of $10,000 (GST inclusive) over 12 months instead of the current two years, when they employ an eligible job seeker. The Restart wage subsidy will include up to $6,500 paid during a 12 month period and a bonus of up to $3,500 for employment which lasts the full 12 months. Employers already making use of Restart will also be able to transition to the new arrangements.
As part of these improvements, employers no longer need to wait until the end of a six month qualifying period to access their first payment. Payments can be made progressively, as frequently as fortnightly if needed. This will particularly help small business at the time when their hiring and training costs are greatest. Large employers who take on at least ten or more mature aged staff will also be able to negotiate the timing of payments to help meet the specific costs associated with hiring multiple staff, including lump-sum payments covering multiple employees. For more information: https://employment.gov.au/changes-restart-wage-subsidy
Employers will be able to contact a local jobactive provider to discuss the unique requirements for their business from 1 July 2015. For more information, employers can contact the Employer Hotline on 13 17 15 or visit the Department of Employment website at www.employment.gov.au/jobactive.
* Newstart Allowance; Parenting Payment; Disability Support Pension; Bereavement Allowance; Widow Allowance; Carer Payment; Special Benefit; Partner Service Pensioners; War Widows; Age Pension; Mature Age Partner Allowance; Wife Pension; Widows B Pension
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