Income from employment

If you or your partner get income from employment you need to tell us. This is so we can pay you the right amount.

The information on this page may not apply to you if you’re permanently blind and get Disability Support Pension (DSP). Read more about employment income reporting when you’re working while getting DSP.

Reporting the employment income you and your partner get is important. You need to report for the whole reporting period including the first and last days.

What you need to tell us about your income

Gross amount of pay

This is the total pay that each employer paid you and your partner. This is including your standard pay and other gross pay rates like overtime or penalty hours. You’ll also need to include any allowances you get from your employer.

You’ll find the gross amount on your payslip. It’s the amount you get before tax and other deductions. It’s usually not what goes into your bank account.

Report the full amount of your pay in your reporting period, usually every 2 weeks. For example, if you get your pay monthly, you need to report the gross amount for the month in the reporting period that you get it in. In reporting periods where you don’t get a pay, you’ll still need to report and let us know that you had no income. You don’t need to spread your income across two reporting periods.

Total hours of work

This is the total number of hours you worked even if your pay will come in your next reporting period. Remember to note your hours each time you work. You can keep track of the hours you work using the earnings worksheet form.

Time period

This is the time period your payslip covers. Your pay period may be longer than your reporting period. In that situation, we’ll ask for the start and end date of your payslip. This tells us which reporting periods the income applies to.

Our system may prefill your employers’ details when you report your employment income. If the details are wrong, you can reject them. You can then enter the correct details.

You can add employer and income details that we haven’t pre-filled.

If you have multiple employers, our system may prefill each one in your online account. This will save you having to add new employer details each time you report.

Don’t forget to keep records. We may ask you to give us proof of your employment income, such as payslips.

Find out more about payslips and what your employer should include on payslips, by visiting the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

What you need to tell us about leave payments

If you get leave payments, you must tell us what kind of leave you get. Parental Leave Pay is different to regular leave payments.

If you take leave from work, you need to report how much of your income in the reporting period was:

  • paid leave
  • hours you worked, including any paid sick leave hours.

You must tell us if your employer pays you a lump sum for leave. This includes leave you built up but didn’t take time off for. Read more about Lump sums while on income support.

Parental Leave Pay

Parental Leave Pay counts as income. You don’t need to report this payment to us. We’ll include it when working out your payment.

Read more about Parental Leave Pay counted as income.

What types of income there are

Employment income from more than one job

You need to report your employment income from each job separately.

Keep track of your employment income from different jobs by using a different earnings worksheet form for each employer.

Severance or redundancy

You need to tell us if you leave your job and get a severance or redundancy payment. Your Centrelink payment may stop for a period of time. We call this an income maintenance period.


If you make voluntary superannuation contributions before tax, it counts as income. We include this in your assessable income when we work out how much to pay you.

What a nil rate payment period is

If you report employment income and your total income is over the cut off point, your payment reduces to $0. We call this the nil rate payment period. You can have up to 12 fortnights in a row of $0 payment before we’ll suspend or cancel your payment.

From 1 July 2024, the nil rate payment period increased from 6 fortnights to 12 fortnights in a row of $0 for certain payments.

Your total income includes:

  • your income
  • your partner’s income
  • your combined income.

If we pay you at least $1 before the end of the 12 fortnights, we won’t suspend or cancel your payment.

If you’re getting ABSTUDY Living Allowance, there are different rules that apply to you for the nil rate payment period.

If you’re getting Special Benefit, you’re unable to access a nil rate payment period and your payment may be cancelled.

You must continue to report your income fortnightly to us so we can apply the nil rate payment period. If you have a partner, this applies to their income as well.

If the total income is below the cut off point within the nil rate payment period, we’ll automatically restart your payments. You won’t need to submit a new claim or serve any waiting periods.

If you’re getting a supplementary benefit or hold a concession card, these won’t be affected in a nil rate payment period.

Read about your payment commitments:

What other things we need to know

When you report your income you must also tell us about any changes in your circumstances.

If you don’t, we may not pay you the right amount. This means you may not get the full payment amount, or you may have to pay us back.

Read more about Centrelink debts and overpayments.

If you need to tell us about changes to child support

Changes in circumstances can change how much child support you get or pay.

If your Child Support online account is linked to myGov you can sign in now to tell us about changes to your circumstances.

Sign in to myGov

You can also call our general Child support enquiry line to tell us about changes.

Read more about changes that affect your child support.

If you make a mistake

You must tell us as soon as you can if you’ve made a mistake. For example, you’ve told us the wrong amount of employment income.

Sometimes when you tell us about changes, we’ll need some more details. This is to make sure we’re paying you the right amount. We’ll let you know if we need more information from you.

Page last updated: 1 July 2024.
QC 53205