Payments now available to Townsville Back to Work employers

Published Thursday, 05 August, 2021 at 04:40 PM

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

Employers in Townsville 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 3000 people in the Townsville area 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.

“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.

“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 Townsville Scott Stewart said the Back to Work program had made a big difference in the region.

“Since 2016 more than $31 million has helped about 3000 people get jobs across more than 1200 businesses here in Townsville,” Mr Stewart 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 in Townsville get into work.”

Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said he’d seen first-hand from businesses and workers what a difference the program had made.

“This important funding allows people to gain secure work and gives a fantastic incentive to businesses too,” Mr Harper said.

“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,” Mr Harper said.

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

“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.”

Member for Mundingburra Les Walker said Back to Work has been a great success story in Townsville and the program will continue to support employers and job seekers into the future.

“Backing businesses and people is what this program is all about and that’s why we continue to invest in it,” he said.

“Creating jobs is an essential part of the Palaszczuk Government’s economic recovery from COVID-19 and Back to Work is a key jobs driver.

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.

For more information about the program visit

Media contact: Kate Talbot 0439 803 211