What is Work for the Dole

If you are a Workforce Australia participant, you may have heard about Work for the Dole. It is a program that gives people the opportunity to contribute to their local community and build skills to help find ongoing work.

What does Work for the Dole mean for you?

If you have been a Workforce Australia participant for over 12 months, the Government requires you to take part in certain activities to continue receiving income support. If you are already undertaking voluntary work or training and study, you may not be required to participate in the Work for the Dole program.

The program gives people the opportunity to take part in a wide range of activities, including areas like:

  • Gardening or maintenance
  • Computer graphics work
  • Animal or wildlife shelter activities
  • Retail work
  • Rehabilitation of public parks
  • Office administration

Whatever role you are involved in, the focus is on learning skills (or improving existing ones) and allowing you to contribute to your local community. As a participant in the Work for the Dole program you are covered by the government Department's insurance scheme during your activities, as well as when you are travelling to and from the activity. You will also receive a supplement to your fortnightly payments for the time you contribute.

Who can host Work for the Dole activities?

Work for the Dole activities can be hosted by local, state, territory and Australian Government agencies, as well as not-for-profit organisations. The intention is for organisations to provide work-like activities that improve people's capabilities and increase their chances of finding ongoing work.

If you are struggling to complete a project with your current staffing levels, you may wish to consider hosting participants on the Work for the Dole program. Remember that you cannot use the program to replace the responsibilities of paid employees. You must also meet all relevant health and safety requirements. You can find more information on our Become a Work for the Dole host page