Activities that count as work

Work needs to meet certain criteria to count in the work test.

Work needs to meet certain criteria to count in the work test.

Work is either:

  • paid work on a day when you have worked for at least one hour
  • paid leave, such as sick leave and annual leave.

We won’t count unpaid leave.

Apart from full time work, you could also do any of the following:

  • be a part time, casual or seasonal worker
  • be a contractor or self employed
  • work in a family business, if you’re earning income
  • have multiple employers
  • have recently changed jobs or left a job
  • have worked overseas.

If you work for a family business, you can include your work hours even if the business doesn’t make an income. You must be working for financial gain or benefit, even if you’re not getting paid.

All of the following also counts as work:

  • previous periods of Dad and Partner Pay or Parental Leave Pay - each weekday counts as 7.6 hours
  • jury service
  • Defence Reservist work
  • periods of workers or accident compensation related to employment
  • periods of JobKeeper Payment
  • periods where you got COVID-19 Disaster Payment
  • Supported Employment at an Australian Disability Enterprise
  • operating a business under Self-Employment Assistance.

Read more about:

For periods of JobKeeper Payment and COVID-19 Disaster Payment, you count whichever of the following is greater:

  • 7.6 hours for each weekday in the period, not including weekends
  • the number of hours actually worked each day, including weekends
  • the number of hours of paid leave each day.

When you claim online, you’ll need to add up your hours of work and any other activities that count as work. This will help us figure out if you meet the work test requirements. When you do this, make sure you include any periods of time that you got COVID-19 Disaster Payment.

Page last updated: 3 December 2022.
QC 63040