Exceptions to the work test

If certain circumstances affected your ability to work during your work test period, you may still meet the work test. We call these exceptions to the work test.

Your work test period is the 13 months before your Dad and Partner Pay period starts.

If your child’s birth was premature

If your child was born prematurely, you may still meet the work test. You need to show that you would have met the work test if your child’s birth wasn’t premature. If this occurs, we look at the work you would have performed up until your child's expected date of birth.

When you claim, we may ask you to provide all of the following proof:

  • your child’s expected date of birth, from a doctor or hospital
  • the dates you had planned to work during your work test period, from your employer.

If you're affected by family and domestic violence

If family and domestic violence directly affected your ability to work, you may meet the work test.

A social worker may need to call you to discuss your claim. The call will come from a private number.

We may also need you to provide proof of your circumstances.

Proof may include any of these:

  • a letter from someone who knows your circumstances
  • a letter from a support service, like a shelter, refuge, or community housing
  • a police or court document, such as a domestic violence order
  • a statutory declaration.

Proof from your employer

You’ll also need to provide proof from your employer.

You don’t have to tell your employer about the family and domestic violence. They only need to confirm that work was available.

The proof needs to include both of these:

  • the dates or periods you weren’t able to work
  • that you would’ve kept working during the work test period.

Proof if you’re self-employed

If you’re self-employed, you need to prove your ability to work was reduced during the work test period. This may include the any of the following:

  • existing and new contracts
  • a letter or declaration from your accountant confirming past and expected future of business
  • notifications of change to business activity
  • employment of a staff member to perform your usual work activities
  • self-declaration of self-employment status and the intention for the business to continue.

If you or someone you care for has a severe medical condition

If a severe medical condition directly affected your ability to work, you may still meet the work test. This may be because you either:

  • had a severe medical condition
  • have been caring for a close family member with a severe medical condition.

A close family member is any of the following:

  • your child
  • your partner
  • your sibling
  • your parent
  • your partner’s parent
  • someone you have legal guardianship over
  • for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, this includes cultural kinship relationships.

Proof from a doctor

You’ll need to give us proof to show that without the severe medical condition you would have met the work test.

You need to provide proof from a doctor or hospital confirming all of the following:

  • what the severe medical condition was
  • who experienced it
  • the period you were affected by the medical condition, or cared for your family member
  • that it prevented or reduced your ability to work as you were required to care for your family member.

Proof from your employer

You’ll also need to provide proof from your employer. This needs to include both:

  • the period you were not able to work
  • that you would’ve kept working during the work test period, if not for the severe medical condition.

Proof if you’re self-employed

If you’re self-employed, you need to prove your ability to work was reduced during the work test period. This may include the any of the following:

  • existing and new contracts
  • a letter or declaration from your accountant confirming past and expected future of business
  • notifications of change to business activity
  • employment of a staff member to perform your usual work activities
  • self-declaration of self-employment status and the intention for the business to continue.

If you're affected by a natural disaster

If a natural disaster directly affected your ability to work, you may still meet the work test. The disaster must have been declared by the Commonwealth or a state or territory.

COVID-19 has not been declared a natural disaster by the Commonwealth or a state or territory. Keep in mind you can count the COVID-19 Disaster Payment and JobKeeper Payment as work.

If you’ve been directly affected by a natural disaster, you’ll need to provide proof that includes both:

  • that you have been directly affected by the natural disaster
  • the address or location where you have been affected, for example, your home or work address.

Proof may include any of these:

  • evidence of major damage to your home, like an insurance claim, building report, invoices for completed repairs or quotes for scheduled repairs
  • lease agreement
  • letter from your real estate agent
  • driver’s licence
  • utility notice or rates notice in your name
  • media articles showing impacts on your community
  • a letter from your employer if your workplace was affected by the disaster
  • a statutory declaration explaining how you have been affected.

Proof from your employer

You’ll also need to provide proof from your employer. This needs to include both:

  • the period you were not able to work
  • that you would’ve kept working during the work test period if you didn’t experience the natural disaster.

Proof if you’re self-employed

If you’re self-employed, you need to prove your ability to work reduced during the work test period. This may include any of the following:

  • existing and new contracts
  • a letter or declaration from your accountant confirming past and expected future of business
  • notifications of change to business activity
  • employment of a staff member to perform your usual work activities
  • self-declaration of self-employment status and the intention for the business to continue.

Page last updated: 2 August 2022