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.
  • Queensland tourism industry provided they have been offered and commenced in eligible employment with an eligible business after 20 May 2021.

    The first payment of $500 can be claimed by the applicant upon providing evidence of completing two continuous weeks of type 1 eligible employment after 20 May 2021 and a letter of offer from an employer.

    The second payment of $500 can be claimed by the applicant upon providing evidence of completing:

    • 12 continuous weeks of type 1 eligible employment; or
    • 2 continuous weeks of type 1 eligible employment and 10 continuous weeks of type 2 eligible employment or a combination of type 1 eligible employment and type 2 eligible employment.

    The final payment of $500 can be claimed by the applicant upon providing evidence of completing:

    • 24 continuous weeks of type 1 eligible employment; or
    • 2 continuous weeks of type 1 eligible employment and 22 continuous weeks of type 2 eligible employment or a combination of type 1 eligible employment and type 2 eligible employment.

    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.

    For applicants eligible to claim the $250 Job Start Travel Bonus, payment will be made in conjunction with the first incentive payment of $500.

  • The program is closed to first applications as funding has been exhausted.

    An incentive instalment is not payable for a continuous period of employment completed after 31 March 2023.

  • 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 (for the second payment) 12 continuous weeks of type 1 eligible employment; or 2 continuous weeks of type 1 eligible employment and 10 continuous weeks of type 2 eligible employment or a combination of type 1 eligible employment and type 2 eligible employment
    • have completed (for the final payment) 24 continuous weeks of type 1 eligible employment; or 2 continuous weeks of type 1 eligible employment and 22 continuous weeks of type 2 eligible employment or a combination of type 1 eligible employment and type 2 eligible employment
  • 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.
  • There are two types of eligible employment. Applicants can only apply under type 2 eligible employment for Payment 2 or Payment 3.

    Type 1 Eligible employment:

    • employment that is with one eligible business for at least 20 hours per week
    • in a Queensland local government area other than the 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 area.

    Type 2 Eligible employment – for second and third payment applications only:

    • Applicants can demonstrate to QRIDA that they are no longer engaged in type 1 eligible employment because: a COVID-19 direction has affected the eligible business that engaged the applicant in the employment; and in complying with the COVID-19 direction, the eligible business can not reasonably continue to engage the applicant in type 1 employment.
    • employment, other than type 1 eligible employment, that is with:
      • one eligible business for at least 20 hours per week; or
      • two eligible businesses for a combined total of at least 20 hours per week; and
      • in a local government area other than the City of Brisbane, Gold Coast, Gympie, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Moreton Bay, Noosa, Redland, Scenic Rim, Somerset or Sunshine Coast local government area.
  • Type 2 Eligible Employment has been included in the Scheme following an update to the Guidelines made in response to changing conditions for workers as a result of the impact of COVID-19 restrictions including border closures and lockdowns. These changes included a new definition of eligible employment with an additional Type 2 eligible employment category.

    This Type 2 category only applies only to Work in Paradise applicants who were successful in receiving the first $500 instalment and whose employment was subsequently impacted by COVID-19 public health directions. The change enables these applicants to work for up to two employers and in an additional eight Local Government Areas when applying for their second or third instalment payments.

  • Yes. The changes are applicable to applicants that have already been successful in receiving the first $500 payment under the Work in Paradise scheme. If your application for a second or third $500 instalment was declined because of changing conditions to your employment (this includes reduction in hours) as a result of the impact of COVID-19 public health restrictions including border closures and lockdowns, you are able to apply again once you have evidence that you can meet type 1 or type 2 continuous eligible employment.

  • 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)
    • air, road and water transport, including sightseeing (ANZSIC codes 2394, 4623, 4820, 5010, 5220)
    • rental and hiring services in relation to vehicles (ANZSIC code 6611, 6619)
    • 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 and operation (ANZSIC code 9001, 9003)
    • amusement and other recreational services (ANZSIC codes 9131, 9139)
    • Casino operation (ANZSIC codes 9201)
  • 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 COVID-19 direction; or (iv) a reduction of the hours of employment available at a workplace, if the reduction is a result of a COVID-19 direction;
    • 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.

    Alternatively, an applicant can wait until 8 weeks work is done and send in pay slips for that period, without requiring a 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, including a letter of offer from their employer.

  • Applicants are required to submit a valid application for second and third payments.

    The second payment of $500 can be claimed by the applicant upon providing evidence of completing:

    • 12 continuous weeks of type 1 eligible employment; or
    • 2 continuous weeks of type 1 eligible employment and 10 continuous weeks of type 2 eligible employment or a combination of type 1 eligible employment and type 2 eligible employment.

    The final payment of $500 can be claimed by the applicant upon providing evidence of completing:

    • 24 continuous weeks of type 1 eligible employment; or
    • 2 continuous weeks of type 1 eligible employment and 22 continuous weeks of type 2 eligible employment or a combination of type 1 eligible employment and type 2 eligible employment.
  • 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 for a list of eligible regions for Type 1 and Type 2 eligible employers.

  • 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. It is recommended that applicants seek to stay in their roles where they can.

  • If your reduction in hours was because of changing conditions to your employment as a result of the impact of COVID-19 public health restrictions including border closures and lockdowns, you may be eligible to apply for your second and or third instalment payment by working for two eligible employers under type to eligible employment.

    Refer to the definition of eligible employment for more details.

  • 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.