As part of an attempt to boost the participation of older Australians in the workforce, the federal government is offering wage subsidies for older employees of up to $10 000 to hire employees over the age of fifty.
The wage subsidy scheme, called Restart, will require employers to demonstrate that the filled position is ongoing, sustainable and has not led to any other employees being dismissed in favour of a mature age worker with the attached incentive.
The incentive is only applicable to mature age job seekers who have been unemployed for at least six months. The issue here is that many older Australians who have failed to find employment drop out of the workforce altogether, rather than becoming job seekers.
This means that they will not have the incentive applied to them, limiting the ability of employers to take advantage of the scheme.
To be eligible for the initial $3000 payment employers will have to employ the mature age employee for a period of at least six months on a full-time basis.
After twelve months, the employer will receive another $3000 payment, followed by another $2000 at eighteen months and a final $2000 at twenty four months.
Companies seeking a part-time employee may also benefit from Restart. If a mature person with the incentive attached to them is hired part-time then the incentive will be paid on a pro-rata basis.
While the Restart incentive is enticing, you should not let it become a distraction throughout the selection process. Candidates should be assessed on their merits and the potential they have to bring value to your business.
Over a two year period, the value added by a first-class employee would be well over $10 000, while the costs of having an unsuitable employee can be significant.
There are however, many advantages that can come with hiring an older worker including maturity, a good work ethic and a commitment to long-term employment, meaning you may have lower levels of staff turnover.
Older employees also tend to have a slightly different communication approach to their younger counterparts, which can prove valuable in a variety of business situations.
We have qualified and friendly members of our staff at hand for any questions you may have in relation to wage subsidies for older employees.
Call (02) 4926 2300 or email us.
To discuss the wage subsidies for older employees or to talk about your business in general, please do not hesitate to contact Leenane Templeton.