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Applications for a grant under the women’s Return to Work Program have now closed.

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The $10 million Return to Work Program is a NSW Government initiative. It is designed to provide tailored support to women seeking to re-enter the workforce after a period of absence.

One-off grants of up to $5000 are available to cover the financial obstacles that can face women wanting to get back into work. These could include the costs involved in:

  • education and training
  • support material for courses
  • work necessities such as professional/work-ready attire, IT and office equipment
  • transportation costs
  • childcare.

You can only apply once, but the grant can be used for multiple services in that one application.

If your application is successful you'll be supported by a Return to Work coordinator, who'll help you develop a Return to Work Plan.

The plan will outline your agreed approach, and your coordinator will support you and help you access the services available to assist with your plan to return to the work force.


To be eligible you must be a woman, residing in NSW, and: 

  • have completed the Expression of Interest form
  • be unemployed at the time of applying and out of the workforce for 30 days or more
  • intend to return to paid work within 6 months of receiving funds 
  • have been working 10 hours a week or more in your most recent period of employment
  • if you were previously self-employed or a small business owner, you'll need to be able to show: 
    • at least 30 days of income loss, reflecting a significant reduction in hours/revenue  
    • your intention to return to the workforce as an employee.
  • have not already applied for and received a payment under this program.  

What you need

  • a MyService NSW Account
  • your bank account details (to receive your payment)
  • a resume/CV or document outlining your:
    • skills
    • education
    • paid or unpaid work history.
  • 2 proof of identity documents, such as:
    • Australian driver licence
    • Medicare card
    • Australian passport
    • Australian birth certificate
    • Australian travel visa
    • Australian citizenship certificate
    • Australian certificate of registration by descent
    • Australian ImmiCard.

How to apply

  1. Select the 'Apply online' button.
  2. Enter the required details.
  3. Upload any documents requested.
  4. Enter your bank details.
  5. Select 'Submit'.

More information

  • You'll be contacted by your Return to Work coordinator at 3 and 6 months after you receive a grant (if approved) to identify your return to work plan is progressing/has been achieved.
  • You need to keep receipts to confirm that you have spent the grant monies as agreed with your Return to Work coordinator.

Available services under the grant

Category Examples Comments
  • Accredited training
  • Pre-payment of HECS– HELP fees
  • Professional career services such as mentoring
  • Personal business development training

$5000 may be used for this category.

The grant recipient is responsible for arranging their own enrolment and payment.

  • Support material for courses
  • Textbooks
  • Stationery

Up to $500 may be used towards this category.

The grant recipient is responsible for making all purchases.

Professional attire
  • Uniforms
  • Professional clothing and grooming
  • Personal protective equipment

Up to $500 may be used towards this category. 

The grant recipient is responsible for making all purchases. 

  • Registered childcare fees 

  • Registered family day care fees 

  • Before/after school care fees 

  • Registered respite provider fees 

Up to $3500 may be used for this category. 

The grant recipient is responsible for making their own childcare and respite arrangements.  

  • Car registration fees

  • Car repair

  • Public transport fees

  • Licence fees

  • Driving lessons 

Up to $500 may be used for this category. 

The grant recipient is responsible for making their own transportation arrangements.

Technology and office equipment
  • Computer
  • Smartphone
  • Software home office equipment

Up to $2000 may be used for this category. 

The grant recipient is responsible for making all purchases.  

Relocation costs
  • Expenses involved in moving to a new region to take up a job opportunity, such as removalist fees, rental bond and personal transport. 

Up to $2500 may be used for this category. 

The grant recipient is responsible for making all relocation arrangements.

Note: Relocation expenses will require proof of a job offer in another location, that would otherwise involve more than a 1.5 hour commute each way by public transport.