What your commitments are
There are some things you must do to keep getting your Parenting Payment.
We have information in different languages about What your commitments are
Call our Multilingual Phone Service to speak with us in your language about your Centrelink payments and services.
While getting Parenting Payment you need to do all the following:
- tell us about changes to your circumstances
- report your income
- confirm or update yours and your partner’s current earnings.
Depending on your circumstances, you may need to either:
- meet mutual obligation requirements
- participate in ParentsNext.
Mutual obligation requirements
Mutual obligation requirements are tasks and activities you agree to do while getting Parenting Payment from us. They’ll apply to you when your youngest child turns 6 or if you’re a compulsory ParentsNext participant.
If you live in an area with lockdown restrictions
Due to coronavirus (COVID-19), we’ve temporarily paused mutual obligation requirements for job seekers and participants that live in the following areas only:
|State||Location||Duration of suspension period|
Metropolitan Melbourne LGAs
Banyule, Bayside, Boroondara, Brimbank, Cardinia, Casey, Darebin, Frankston, Glen Eira, Greater Dandenong, Hobsons Bay, Hume, Kingston, Knox, Manningham, Maribyrnong, Maroondah, Melbourne, Melton, Monash, Moonee Valley, Moreland, Mornington Peninsula, Nillumbik, Port Phillip, Stonnington, Whitehorse, Whittlesea, Wyndham, Yarra Ranges, Yarra
|6 October 2021 to 28 October 2021|
|Mitchell Shire Local Government Area||6 October 2021 to 28 October 2021|
|Mildura Rural City Council Local Government Area||9 October 2021 to 26 October 2021|
|Australian Capital Territory||ACT, except Jervis Bay||12 August 2021 to 19 October 2021|
Local Government Areas:
Brighton Council, Central Highlands Council, Clarence City Council, Derwent Valley Council, Glamorgan-Spring Bay Council, Glenorchy City Council, Hobart City Council, Huon Valley Council, Kingborough Council, Sorell Council, Southern Midlands Council, Tasman Council.
|15 October 2021 to 20 October 2021|
During this period, no payment suspensions or financial penalties will apply if you don’t meet your mutual obligation requirements.
You should continue to check when your requirements are due after the temporary pause of mutual obligation requirements end. If you’re unable to meet your job search requirements after the temporary pause ends, you need to call either:
- your provider
- the Department of Education, Skills and Employment’s Digital Services Contact Centre.
You can find more information about:
- mutual obligation requirements on the jobactive website
- advice for job seekers on the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website.
If you live in NSW
Mutual obligation requirements in NSW are resuming after an extended period in lockdown. Attending provider appointments and agreeing to a job plan are compulsory from 14 October 2021.
Other activities will be voluntary until further notice for areas exiting an extended lockdown, which includes:
- Greater Sydney
- NSW Regional Local Government Areas of:
Bathurst Regional, Broken Hill, Central Coast, City of Cessnock, City of Lake Macquarie, City of Lithgow, City of Maitland, City of Newcastle, City of Shellharbour, City of Shoalhaven, Dubbo, Eurobodalla, Goulburn Mulwaree, Jervis Bay, Kiama, Port Stephens, Queanbeyan-Palerang regional and Wingecarribee.
If you live outside of these areas, all mutual obligation requirements are now compulsory.
You should speak to your provider or check the dashboard in your jobactive account for more information.
If you live in other parts of Australia
You must meet all of your mutual obligation requirements.
This means doing the tasks and activities in your Job Plan or participation plan. Suspensions and penalties apply if you don’t.
If you’re in online employment services, you need to do the tasks on your dashboard.
You must attend all appointments with your provider.
If your youngest child is 6 or over you may be able to do this in any of the following ways:
- over the phone
- in person, if safe to do so.
You can opt-in to get face to face services by contacting your provider. If you do, you’ll go to appointments and activities in person, if it’s safe to do so.
If you don’t want face to face servicing, you may be able to do these over the phone or online.
If you’re a compulsory ParentsNext participant, you must attend all appointments with your provider. Your first appointment is usually face to face, but after that you can choose to attend appointments by phone or online. If you can’t attend your appointment in person, speak to your provider.
Read about mutual obligation requirements.
When penalties apply
This applies to you if you’re with one of these:
If you’re in the Community Development Program, the penalties are different.
When exemptions apply
You may be exempt from mutual obligation requirements in certain circumstances. This includes if you’re impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19).
Read about what exemptions may apply.
Report employment income
If you get an income support payment from us, you must report any income you and your partner get. You may need to report every 2 weeks, even if it’s $0. This is so we pay you the right amount.
Before you get your first payment, you may need to report your and your partner’s income.
You can report your income in any of these ways, by:
- using your Centrelink online account through myGov
- using the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app
- calling 133 276 (13 EARN).
You can check your reporting dates through your Centrelink online account.
When you report your income each fortnight, you may need to confirm you’re meeting your mutual obligation requirements.
Change of circumstances
You must tell us if things change as it may affect your Parenting Payment.
Read about what you need to tell us.
Mutual obligation requirements are tasks and activities you agree to do while getting certain payments from us. Penalties apply if you don’t meet them.
If you get Parenting Payment and can’t work or study for a short time you may need to give us a medical certificate.
Job seekers and ParentsNext participants could get demerits and financial penalties for not meeting mutual obligation requirements.
ParentsNext connects you to local support services to help you with your study and work goals.
We need to know about changes to your or your partner’s situation. If you don’t tell us when these changes happen, you may get a debt you’ll have to pay back.
If you’re a member of a couple, it can affect what payments you can get and your payment rate.
If we need you to confirm your and your partner’s employment income, we’ll send a letter to your myGov Inbox.
How much you or your partner get paid affects your payment. We need to know what you both get paid so we can pay you the right amount.
Your options for Parenting Payment.
Page last updated: 15 October 2021
This information was printed 12 October 2021 from https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/parenting-payment/what-your-commitments-are. It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/site-notices when using this material.