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The expanded mutual obligation requirements will apply to all job seekers in jobactive, Online Employment Services, Disability Employment Services and participants in the ParentsNext program.

As part of the new arrangements, from 28 September job seekers may be subject to income support payment suspensions or penalties if mutual obligation requirements are not met and there is no valid reason. At present, job seekers are only subject to penalties or suspensions if they refuse an offer of employment without a valid reason…

For some job seekers, who have been on income support for 12 months, Work for the Dole activities will also recommence where it is safe to do so and all health and safety requirements are met.

Given the changing nature of the labour market, with many roles changing significantly because of COVID-19, the Government is also increasing opportunities for job seekers to train and upskill to become more employable in areas of high skill demand. Additional flexibility is being introduced so that a job seeker who is studying an eligible course that is less than 12 months in duration, in either the vocational education and training or higher education systems, can have that study counted towards their mutual obligation requirements.

The Government recognises this continues to be a challenging time for those looking for work and encourages jobseekers to access the full range of assistance available to them – including access to skills training, assistance for other work preparation activities and referral to relevant support services – including mental health services, if required.

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People who are receiving both JobSeeker and JobKeeper payments may also have mutual obligation requirements, depending on their circumstances, consistent with the arrangements for part time workers who are also in receipt of Job Seeker. Individuals who only receive JobKeeper are not subject to mutual obligation requirements.

Job seekers will be notified of their requirements ahead of the 28 September resumption.


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