Release type: Joint Media Release


Better Restart access for job seekers with disability and employers


Senator the Hon Eric Abetz
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for Employment
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service
Senator for Tasmania
Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield
Assistant Minister for Social Services
Manager of Government Business in the Senate
Senator for Victoria

Job seekers with disability and their prospective employers will soon be better able to sign up to the successful Restart wage subsidy for mature-age workers, the Australian Government announced today.

Minister for Employment Senator Eric Abetz and Assistant Minister for Social Services Senator Mitch Fifield today announced that Disability Employment Services (DES) providers would be able to directly offer Restart to the employers they deal with from 7 December onwards.

“More than 500 job seekers aged 50 or older have signed up to Restart since its inception across Australia on 1 July this year, which is a terrific result,” Senator Abetz said.

“The programme provides employers with up to $10,000 (GST inclusive) if they hire an eligible 50-plus job seeker and retain that person for two years.

“The Australian Government believes that mature-age workers – including those with disability – have an enormous amount to offer, so we’re doing all we can to encourage employers to give those people a go.

“The change we’re announcing today allows job seekers and employers to apply for the Restart programme through the employment service providers with whom they have already built up strong links.”

Senator Fifield said DES providers had already indirectly helped some of the employers and job seekers they work with to take advantage of Restart, but the change announced today will further boost sign-ups to the scheme.

“From December, DES providers will have the formal authority to process Restart applications in exactly the same way that Job Services Australia providers do,” Senator Fifield said.

“This is a move supported by the Age Discrimination Commissioner, the Hon Susan Ryan AO, and backed by industry peaks and providers.

“People with disability aged 50 years and older have a lot to offer employers, in terms of diversifying their workforce and building better connections with the community.

“These changes will allow employers and people with disability over 50 to sign up to Restart more easily than before.”

Restart – which was announced in the 2014-15 Budget and is worth $524.8 million over four years – provides $10,000 to employers that hire and retain job seekers aged 50 and older who have been in receipt of income support for six months or more.

The scheme is one of a suite of recently introduced Australian Government initiatives designed to get more people off welfare and into work, including:

  • the reinvigorated Work for the Dole programme, being phased in via 18 high-unemployment areas throughout the country;
  • the Relocation Assistance to Take Up a Job programme, which provides financial support to job seekers who move to take up work;
  • the Job Commitment Bonus, which offers $6500 to young, long-term unemployed people if they get a job, and stay in continuous work and off welfare for two years; and
  • the Tasmanian Jobs Programme, which offers an incentive to employers that provide full-time, ongoing work to eligible job seekers in Tasmania.