Alister Henskens portrait
Alister Henskens portrait

Grants for Local Women Returning to Work

Woman at desk with laptop

State Member for Ku-ring-gai Alister Henskens SC is encouraging local women who are looking to return to work to take up tailored support and grants of up to $5,000 from the NSW Government to fund goods, supports and resources to help them return to the workforce.

The Return to Work Program is for women who have been unemployed for one month or more and intend to enter or return to work within six months. One-off grants of up to $5,000 can be accessed to fund return to work costs such as training, materials for courses, transportation, childcare, and other work necessities like IT equipment. 

Mr Henskens said that the Liberal and Nationals Government has a strong record on supporting the women of our state and encouraged eligible women to access the financial and service support that is there.

“If you are a woman who is looking to go back to work, but there are financial costs to doing so, such as childcare, transport, clothing or a computer, the NSW Government will fund up to $5,000 of those costs.

"Women should feel confident that the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government has their back when it comes to removing some of the financial barriers that could delay or prevent them from returning to work.

“It’s one of many programs offered by the NSW Government to reduce the cost of living and supporting people, particularly women, into jobs.

“Feedback from women who have completed the program is overwhelmingly positive, with many telling us that it simply wouldn’t have been possible without it. It builds their confidence while supporting their financial independence,” Mr Henskens said.

The Return to Work Pathways Program is part of the commitment made by the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government in the 2022-23 Budget to invest $16.5 billion over 10 years to level the playing field for women.

It complements the NSW Liberal and Nationals long term plan to help 95,000 women enter the workforce or take on more hours by making childcare more affordable and accessible.

The state’s unemployment rate is currently 3.1 per cent which is the lowest in the country.

Over 3,700 women have taken up a Return to Work grant since the program launched, with an average payment of $4,500.

Survey results from women in the last phase of the program found:

  • 65% had secured employment;
  • 73% had applied and/ or started education and training;
  • 95% had made progress with their Return to Work Plan;
  • 81% reported increased confidence regarding returning to work; and
  • 98% found the Return to Work application process helpful.

Find out more at:

A Return to Work Toolkit is also available here: