Work in Paradise

Frequently asked questions

  • The Work in Paradise Incentive Scheme (Scheme) forms part of the Queensland Government’s Work in Paradise program. The Scheme targets jobseekers from across Australia to take up a job in the Queensland tourism industry.  This will help to stimulate regional economies and assist Queensland tourism businesses to rebuild in a COVID-safe environment.

    The Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority will administer the Scheme on behalf of the Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport.

    Key objectives of the Scheme include:

    • attract talent to tourism jobs in regional Queensland
    • help tourism readily rebound to meet recovering demand
    • meet labour market conditions in the tourism and hospitality sectors.
  • The Scheme will provide a maximum payment of $1,500 to jobseekers to take up a job opportunity in the regional Queensland tourism industry provided they have been offered and commenced in eligible employment with an eligible business after 20 May 2021.

    Payment of the $1,500 will be made to jobseekers in three instalments provided certain conditions are met:

    • an initial payment of $500 after at least two continuous weeks of eligible employment in an eligible business with an offer of employment for a minimum period of eight weeks or more
    • a second payment of $500 after 12 continuous weeks of eligible employment in the same eligible business or with another eligible business
    • a final payment of $500 after 24 continuous weeks of eligible employment in the same eligible business or with another eligible business.

    In addition, job seekers eligible for the first employment incentive payment under the Scheme and have relocated at least 100 kilometres from their principal place of residence to engage in eligible employment are eligible for the Job Start Travel Bonus of $250.

  • Applications can be made until 5.30pm AEST on 31 March 2022.

    If funds are exhausted before this date, applications will be refused. An incentive instalment is not payable for a continuous period of employment completed after 31 December 2022.

  • To be eligible for the first $500 instalment of the $1,500 Work in Paradise Incentive payment, applicants must meet all of the following eligibility criteria:

    • an applicant has not previously received assistance under the Scheme
    • be an Australian citizen or permanent resident; or entitled, under a visa granted under the Migration Act 1958 (Cwlth), to work in Australia
    • be at least 18 years of age
    • has been offered at least eight continuous weeks of eligible employment, starting after 20 May 2021, by an eligible business; and has completed two continuous weeks of the eligible employment.

    Approved applicants are eligible for the second and third $500 instalments of the $1,500 Work in Paradise Incentive payment if they:

    • have completed 12 continuous weeks of eligible employment in an eligible business (for the second payment) or with another eligible business
    • have completed 24 continuous weeks of eligible employment (for the final payment) with the same eligible business or with another eligible business.
  • To be eligible for the $250 Job Start Travel Bonus, applicants must meet all of the following eligibility criteria:

    • be an approved applicant for the first incentive instalment of the $1,500 Work in Paradise Incentive
    • have relocated by a distance of at least 100 kilometres from their principal place of residence to engage in eligible employment and that the relocation happened after 20 May 2021.
  • Eligible employment means employment that is with an eligible business for at least 20 hours per week and is in a Queensland local government area other than the City of Brisbane, Bundaberg, Central Highlands, Fraser Coast, Gladstone, Gold Coast, Gympie, Ipswich, Livingstone, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Moreton Bay, Noosa, North Burnett, Redland, Rockhampton, Scenic Rim, Somerset, Sunshine Coast or Toowoomba local government areas.

  • Eligible business means for which an entity holds an Australian Business Number; and that is registered for GST; and that operates primarily for the tourism market and whose primary activity is an activity in:

    • art gallery operation; souvenirs retailing, other than by direct selling; or duty free store operation; or travel goods retailing, other than by direct selling.

    Or a business that is listed in the following ANZSIC (Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification) as published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics:

    • accommodation providers (ANZSIC code 4400)
    • food and beverage services including cafes, restaurants, taverns and clubs (ANZSIC codes 4511, 4513, 4520, 4530)
    • road and water transport, including sightseeing (ANZSIC codes 4623, 4820, 5010)
    • rental and hiring services in relation to vehicles (ANZSIC code 6611)
    • event management (ANZSIC code 7299)
    • travel agencies (ANZSIC code 7220)
    • heritage activities including museums, parks and gardens (ANZSIC codes 8910, 8921, 8922)
    • performing arts venues (ANZSIC code 9003)
    • amusement and other recreational services (ANZSIC codes 9131, 9139)
  • Continuous employment means without interruption, other than:

    • an interruption of up to six months because of illness or injury; or a seasonal or environmental event (Examples— cyclone, flood); a workplace closure in compliance with a public health direction under the Queensland Public Health Act 2005, section 362B
    • another interruption of up to two weeks.
  • A letter of offer from an employer is required for an employee to receive the first $500 payment of the $1500 Work in Paradise incentive.

    According to the program Guidelines, this letter needs:

    1. Start date for employee that shows this date is after 20 May 2021
    2. Employee has been offered at least 8 continuous weeks of eligible employment
    3. The employee has completed 2 continuous weeks of the eligible employment

    If you cannot immediately give this information to the employee and offer at least eight weeks of continuous work due to the nature of your employee engagement, it can be provided retrospectively.

    This would be in cases where the employee has completed eight continuous weeks of eligible employment in an eligible business.

    If the employee had already started their application, they have the option to withdraw their initial application via the portal and reapply when they can have completed eight continuous weeks of eligible employment and have a retrospective letter of offer.

  • Under the Guidelines, a letter of offer from an employer is required for an employee to receive the first $500 payment of the $1500 Work in Paradise incentive.

    The letter needs to include:

    1. Start date for employee that shows this date is after 20 May 2021
    2. Employee has been offered at least 8 continuous weeks of eligible employment
    3. The employee has completed 2 continuous weeks of the eligible employment

    If the information provided by your employer and submitted as part of your application does not confirm an offer of eight weeks continuous work, it will not be acceptable under the Work in Paradise Incentive Guidelines. You will be advised by the Authority of three options:

    • The Letter of Offer is not acceptable and to provide a complying Letter of Offer, or
    • Wait until 8 weeks work is done and send in pay slips for that period and advise the authority of your intention to wait, or
    • Withdraw the initial application via the portal and reapply after completing eight continuous weeks of eligible employment and have a retrospective letter of offer from your employer.
  • The first payment of $500 can be claimed by the applicant upon providing evidence of completing two continuous weeks of eligible employment in an eligible business or with another eligible business after 20 May 2021.

  • The second payment of $500 can be claimed by the applicant upon providing evidence of completing 12 continuous weeks of eligible employment in an eligible business or with another eligible business.

    The final payment of $500 can be claimed by the applicant upon providing evidence of completing 24 continuous weeks of eligible employment in an eligible business or with another eligible business.

  • Applicants to the Work in Paradise program must ensure they are not subject to any public health or border restrictions.

    Specialist worker exemptions do not apply to participants in the Work in Paradise program.

    The number one priority for the Queensland Government during the pandemic is the health, safety and wellbeing of all.

    For all the latest information on COVID-19 restrictions in Queensland visit www.covid19.qld.gov.au

  • All Australian citizens or permanent residents who are over 18 years old and temporary Australian visa holders with Australian working rights are eligible for the Scheme.

    To apply, you can also provide an ImmiCard as proof of identity.

    Applicants need to prove they have secured a job offering a minimum of 20 hours work per week for at least eight weeks with an eligible Queensland tourism business in an eligible location. The Scheme is open to casual, part time and full-time workers.

  • Yes. International students, and anyone with work rights including working holiday makers with work rights can apply if they meet the eligibility criteria. This includes providing proof of identity as the person submitting the application and that they have the right to work in Australia. Acceptable documents include a passport and visa letter which includes work rights information. An ImmiCard is also acceptable as an item of identification.

    For more information on Australian student visas, visit the website at: workpermit.com/immigration/australia/australia-student-visas

    For more information on Working Holiday visas, visit the website at: workpermit.com/immigration/australia/australia-student-visas

    For more information on New Zealand entry and working requirements, visit the website at:
    https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/entering-and-leaving-australia/new-zealand-citizens/entry-requirements.

  • As part of their application, an applicant needs to provide evidence that they have secured at least 20 hours of work per week in a tourism job for a minimum of eight weeks in an eligible region of Queensland.

    If an employer reduces hours below 20 hours per week, there is a COVID-19 lockdown, or the employee is unable to work due to illness, they may still be eligible to receive the second and/or third payments under the Scheme.

  • The Scheme is designed to encourage people to fill a tourism job in regional Queensland. If the applicant meets the eligibility criteria to receive the incentive, they are eligible to receive the incentive if they take another tourism job in the same town or city in an eligible region.

    This enables people to stay in the tourism industry where they are needed most and potentially secure a better job in tourism which aligns with our ongoing efforts to boost tourism as a long-term career option; and keeps the employee in the region, stimulating local economies.

  • See Appendix 1 to the Guidelines (PDF, 305.0KB).

  • Yes. The applicant can change jobs provided the tourism job is in an eligible region and the applicant needs to continue working a minimum of 20 hours per week. Applicants can only receive a maximum of $1,500 under the Scheme.

  • No – under the Scheme eligible employment is defined as being an eligible business and not multiple employers.

  • Yes. The Work in Paradise Incentive Scheme complements the Back to Work in Agriculture Incentive Scheme which provides an incentive payment of $1,500 to eligible employees to take up an agriculture job in Queensland.  People who secure both an eligible tourism job and an eligible agriculture job are able to apply for incentives under both Schemes. Further information can be found on the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries website.

  • Under the guidelines, an applicant is required to provide evidence of employment from an eligible business including:

    • letter of offer from an employer which includes the terms of employment for the initial payment or an item other than a letter that satisfies the Authority; and
    • payslips to demonstrate paid employment over the required periods for the first, second and final payments, noting that for the second and final payments payslips will be required only for the beginning and end of the period.

    Under these guidelines, the Authority will not accept invoices paid through an ABN in place of payslips.

    If you are self-employed and are invoicing an employer through an ABN, you are not eligible apply.