Wage subsidies

Wage subsidies are a financial incentive to encourage employers to hire eligible participants in ongoing jobs by contributing to the initial costs of hiring a new employee. Wage subsidies can help to build a business and give employers greater flexibility in their hiring options.

The Australian Government will increase the maximum amount offered for all wage subsidies delivered through employment services providers to $10,000 from 1 July 2021 to 31 June 2022.

Up to $10,000 (GST inclusive) may be available for new employees who are:

  • 15 to 29 years of age,
  • Indigenous Australians,
  • 50 years of age and over,
  • a parent, or 
  • registered with an employment services provider for 12 months or more.

Eligible businesses can receive payments over a six-month period from employment services providers. Employers can negotiate how often payments are made, for example weekly or fortnightly.

The decision to offer a wage subsidy is at the provider’s discretion.

Talk to your employment services provider to find out more about wage subsidies.

View the wage subsidies fact sheet for more information.

An employment services provider may offer your business a wage subsidy if:

  • you have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • the person you hire is a new employee that you have never previously employed
  • your business is not an Australian, state or territory government agency
  • the person you hire meets the eligibility requirements for the wage subsidy
  • the position you offer is expected to be ongoing and for 20 hours or more per week, averaged over the six months of the wage subsidy agreement
  • the work complies with employment standards for the position (for example, is suitable work and pays as a minimum the national award wage).

Apprenticeship and traineeship placements are also eligible for a wage subsidy along with other financial incentives available to employers under the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program.

Paid work trials can form part of a wage subsidy agreement, excluding those funded by the Employment Fund.

Employers who decide to hire an individual who has completed a National Work Experience Programme, may also be eligible for a wage subsidy.

Some jobs are not eligible for a wage subsidy, including:

  • work that displaces an existing employee
  • commission-based, subcontracting or self-employment positions and
  • work for an immediate family member
  • those that are receiving support through another Australian Government wage subsidy.

How can employers apply?

Contact an employment services provider to find out if your business is eligible for support.

Employers should talk to the provider as soon as the job starts to ensure you do not miss out on a wage subsidy. Employers must apply for and approve a wage subsidy agreement within 12 weeks (84 days) of your new employee's start date to be eligible. 

Find a provider now or call the Employer Hotline on 13 17 15.

Call charges apply for calls to '13' numbers from mobile phones.

How to manage a wage subsidy

A wage subsidy consists of a head agreement and individual schedules for each new employee. These can be viewed and managed via the jobactive website.

Our 'How To Guide' shows you how simple it is to manage a wage subsidy agreement:

Read or download How to manage wage subsidies at our user guides page.

Read the complete guideline for more information.

Fact sheets

For a printable version of this information see:

More Information

If you have any questions or would like to apply for a wage subsidy, contact an employment services provider within 12 weeks (84 calendar days) of the job starting.

If you are not registered with a provider you can find one through the provider search on the jobactive website or by calling the Employer Hotline on 13 17 15.

Call charges apply for calls to ‘13’ numbers from mobile phones.