Funding to attract critical workers

Eligible tourism and hospitality, agriculture (plant production) and aged care businesses can apply for funding to attract workers as part of the Work Stay Play program.

The initiative offers support to:

  • attract workers who relocate to the Northern Territory (NT) to take up a job in one of these industries
  • transition local workers from unemployment into a job in one of these industries.

What you can get

Eligible businesses can apply for up to $1,500 for each new eligible worker. The cap on the total amount you can claim is $60,000.

Payments for each worker will be split into two instalments:

  • $750 when the eligible worker starts employment in the NT
  • $750 after 8 weeks of continuous employment.

Who can apply

The program is aimed at Territory tourism and hospitality, agriculture (plant production) and aged care businesses.

An eligible employer is a business that:

  • is a legal entity, with or without a registered business name
  • holds a valid Australian business number
  • is operating in at least one of the following sectors:
    • tourism
    • hospitality
    • aged care
    • plant production
  • has successfully registered with the department.

Worker eligibility

An eligible worker is a person who either:

  • has relocated to the NT from outside the Territory to take up employment with an eligible employer or
  • is an NT resident who was unemployed for at least one month immediately before starting employment with the eligible employer.

A worker must also meet all of the following criteria:

  • be an Australian citizen, permanent resident or otherwise legally authorised to work in Australia
  • started employment with an eligible employer on or after 30 April 2021
  • is working a minimum of 20 hours per week
  • is not related to or a relative of the employer.

If you have already received incentives from the NT or Australian Government, such as through the ‘Relocation Assistance to Take Up a Job’ program, you are not eligible to apply.

How to apply

Apply online on the SmartyGrants website. The program closes to new applications at 5pm on 31 December 2021.

Before you apply, read the program terms and conditions updated on 20 October 2021.

Work stay play program terms and conditions PDF (285.6 KB)
Work stay play program terms and conditions DOCX (645.1 KB)

Information you will need

Eligible employers will need to include the following information on their application:

  • their legal name and trading name (if any)
  • Australian business number (ABN)
  • physical address they operate from in the NT
  • name of a general manager or other person in charge of the business
  • name and contact number of contact person for participation in the program
  • details of their eligible workers.

Employers will also be required to provide a statutory declaration as part of their application for funding and provide proof of employment of eligible workers.

If requested by the government, employers must:

  • verify details of any employees who receive payments under the program
  • provide evidence of eligibility of workers, being either proof of previous unemployed status or relocation to the NT
  • provide evidence of full payments made to the eligible worker.



Last updated: 20 October 2021

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