Payments of up to $5000 for eligible COVID-19 affected women

Payments of up to $5000 for eligible COVID-19 affected women

Australian bills

As part of the 2020-21 NSW Budget, the NSW Government has introduced a new $10 million Return to Work program where eligible women in NSW will be able to claim a one off grant of $5000. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said “these grants will help women whose employment has been affected by COVID-19 to overcome some of the obstacles in returning to the workforce”.

Berejiklian stated that the program would enable women to seek financial assistance and targeted support including mentoring and leadership training. The $5000 payment may be used for education, support material for courses, work necessities, equipment, transportation costs or childcare. Berejiklian encourages women to apply for the grant and use it to jump back into their career or even start a new one.

State Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said “we know that many part-time or casual positions and female-dominated industries were severely impacted by COVID-19 so we are looking to empower as many women as possible to be able to get back into paid employment”. Perrottet also stated that not only will it empower women to get back into paid work and provide financial assistance for them and their families but it will also boost the economy.

Approximately 53 per cent of COVID-19 affected industries and 65 per cent of secondary industries affected by the pandemic are made up of women. These impacted industries include accommodation, food services, retail, arts and professional services. The Australian Bureau of Statistics data from September 2020 show that the unemployment rate in NSW was 7.2 per cent.

Successful applicants will be assigned a Return to Work coordinator who will help them develop a plan to get them back to paid work. The Return to Work plan will outline an approach to getting back to work and outline the resources needed to let this happen.


If you would like to register your interest in the Return to Work Program, head to the Service NSW website.


Who is eligible for the Return to Work Program?

The grants are available to all NSW women who have been unemployed for at least one month and plan on joining the workforce within six months.

What can the Return to Work grant be used on?

The grant may be used to cover the financial hurdles faced when women want to get back to work. Some of the things the grant can be used for include:

  • education and training
  • support material for courses
  • work necessities such as specialist clothing, equipment and IT
  • transportation costs
  • childcare and before & after school care


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