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What is the Return & Earn Program? How can I find information about return-to-work paycheck bonuses?

The Return & Earn Program will assist unemployed workers in their return to work and help small businesses fill the positions they need to fill to grow, thrive, and lead our economic recovery.

Visit the NJ Department of Labor's "Return and Earn" program page for more information. Employers can complete this form to express interest in this program and to receive application information as it becomes available. Additional details on how to participate in the program will also be added to this article.

Return-to-Work Benefits for Employees

Employees getting jobs through Return & Earn will receive a $500 return-to-work bonus in their first paycheck, on top of any other hiring bonus or benefit provided by their employer.

In addition, the Department of Labor will coordinate its wraparound services with Return & Earn to provide additional supports for workers to help workers meet the costs associated with returning to work, such as transportation and child care costs.

Wage Subsidies for Employers

Employers can receive up to $10,000 in wage subsidies to hire and train new employees. The subsidies will help cover wages for a new employee for up to their first six months on the job, a time when employers are providing on-the-job training to on-board and upskill new workers.
Eligible businesses must have 100 or fewer current employees, and the positions to be filled must pay at least $15 per hour.

During the employer-provided training period of up-to the first six months of employment, Return & Earn will reimburse employers for half of the wages paid for regular hours worked. The total reimbursement will be capped at $10,000 per new employee, and at $40,000 per employer. This reimbursement will be valid whether this training occurs in-person at the job site or virtually.