Restart Program Benefits Employers and Mature Employees alike

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Portrait Of Happy Mature Mechanic At Repair Service Station Holding A TyreAre you finding it hard to manage all aspects of your business? Perhaps a little assistance from the government could provide the key to accessing a growing workforce without creating excessive burdens on your cash flow.

With the increased Age Pension eligibility being phased in over the coming years, there will be an increasing number of over sixties needing to extend their careers. For those fortunate enough to have continued support from employers, this extension will be seamless. But what about those who are unemployed for some reason and now need to look at reentering the workforce?

Mature workers have skills acquired over (what they thought) was an entire career. Now it turns out those careers need to last a while longer. The Restart program is a government incentive scheme that rewards employers who hire over fifties who have been unemployed and on income support for more than six months. The maximum payment is capped at $10,000 spread over two years in the following payments:

  1. $3000 after 6 months employment
  2. $3000 after 12 months employment
  3. $2000 after 18 months employment
  4. $2000 after 24 months employment

These maximum payments apply to employees working over 30 hours per week, while those working fifteen to twenty-nine hours per week will attract prorated payments (the minimum cut off for payments is fifteen hours per week).

In essence, the program provides a $6000 wage subsidy for employers in year one, and $4000 in year two (providing the employee continues with your organisation for that period). While this clearly won’t cover all, or even the majority, of wage costs over that period, it will certainly reduce the burden.

Where unemployed fifty-year-olds were previously viewed as perhaps looking to wind down their careers prior to retirement (and as a result were less attractive recruits), those same individuals are now looking at another twenty years in the workforce.

Employers looking to take advantage of this opportunity need to be a legal entity and hold an ABN and cannot be a government agency (Commonwealth, State or Territory). Additionally, you cannot receive Restart for the same individual more than once. Visit the Restart website for further details.

By Jennifer Lowe

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