11 January 2023

Visitor economy to benefit from temporary changes to the Work Bonus

The government has made temporary changes to the Work Bonus. The changes give older Australians greater flexibility to work and earn more without affecting their pension.

This is also an opportunity for the visitor economy to help meet labour shortfalls.

The Minister for Social Services announced the changes on 22 November 2022.

The Work Bonus provides an incentive for pensioners over the Age Pension age to work. It allows them to keep more of their pension when they earn income from working. It will apply to eligible pensioners from 1 December 2022 to 31 December 2023.

Find out more about the Work Bonus on the Services Australia website. Information includes eligibility criteria and how the temporary changes are applied.

Tourism businesses also winners

Austrade’s THRIVE 2030 strategy notes that recruiting people from under-represented demographics – such as older people – is an effective way to address labour shortages.

Mature-aged workers offer many benefits to employers. They:

  • are reliable and flexible
  • have a lifetime of experience that businesses can draw on
  • provide age diversity in the workplace.

Sam Palmer is the General Manager, Visitor Economy & Client Programs at Austrade. She says, ‘The government has provided a tangible mechanism to help with labour shortfalls in our visitor economy, especially during peak periods, with the temporary change to the Work Bonus.

‘THRIVE 2030 identified 2022–2024 as the ‘Recovery phase’ and a time to address workforce shortages, and power into the future. The temporary change to the Work Bonus has come along at an opportune time to help rebuild our visitor economy. 

‘We encourage tourism businesses to consider employing older workers, and to benefit from their wealth of experience.’

More information

Businesses looking for help with hiring staff can also find out about Commonwealth support programs on the Department of Education and Workplace Relations .

Read how older Australians are returning to the workforce:

Read more about the benefits of employing mature-age workers on the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations website.

Growing the visitor economy

THRIVE 2030 is Australia’s national strategy for the long-term, sustainable growth of the visitor economy.