Changes to mutual obligation requirements in Victoria

13 November 2020

If you get a payment with mutual obligation requirements, you’ll need to start meeting them.

Mutual obligation requirements are tasks and activities you’ve agreed to do.

They restarted across most of the country in September and are now returning for Victorian job seekers. If you live in Victoria, you’ll need to meet your obligations from 23 November 2020.

These requirements are in your Job Plan. If you haven’t agreed to a Job Plan yet, you’ll need to do this now. If you don’t, we may suspend your payment until you do.

Who has mutual obligation requirements

You have mutual obligation requirements if you get 1 of these payments:

You'll also have them if you either:

  • get both the JobKeeper Payment and 1 of these payments.
  • are a compulsory ParentsNext participant.

However, if you’re a sole trader or self-employed, you may be exempt from them.

What happens when you don’t meet your requirements

If you don’t meet your requirements, you could get demerits or financial penalties. These can include either:

  • losing some or all of your fortnightly payment
  • having your payment suspended or cancelled.

You can avoid this by making sure you do your tasks and activities.

Here are some tips to help you avoid penalties.

If you can’t go to an appointment or do an activity, you need to call either:

  • your provider, if you have one
  • the Department of Education, Skills and Employment’s Digital Services Contact Centre, if you’re in online employment services.

Make sure you call beforehand to let them know why you can’t attend.

If you need a temporary exemption from your requirements, phone us on our regular payment line.

If you find it hard to meet your mutual obligation requirements, talk to your provider. They may change your Job Plan to suit your current situation.

Your mutual obligation requirements may be more flexible. You may be able to do study and training that give you skills for jobs in areas of high labour demand. You can read more about training on the myskills website. There’s information about short courses through JobTrainer on the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website.

While you’re studying or training, your job search requirements may reduce.

Where to learn more about your requirements

Watch these videos to help understand your obligations:

Page last updated: 13 November 2020