What your commitments are

There are some things you must do to keep getting your Parenting Payment.

While getting Parenting Payment you need to do all the following:

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 (COVID19), we’ve temporarily paused mutual obligation requirements for job seekers and participants that live in the following areas only:

State, Territory or Local Government Areas (LGAs) Duration of suspension period
South Australia 20 July 2021 to 3 August 2021
Victoria 16 July 2021 to 3 August 2021

NSW regional LGAs:

  • Blayney
  • Cabonne
  • Orange.
21 July 2021 to 3 August 2021

NSW Metro LGAs:

  • City of Sydney
  • Waverley
  • Randwick
  • Canada Bay
  • Inner West
  • Bayside
  • Woollahra.
25 June 2021 to 31 August 2021

Greater Sydney and all of the following LGAs:

  • Blue Mountains
  • Central Coast
  • Wollongong
  • Shellharbour.
27 June 2021 to 31 August 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:

You can find more information about:

If you live in other Australian states and territories

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
  • online
  • 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

There are demerits and financial penalties for not meeting your mutual obligation requirements.

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:

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.

Read about income reporting and get help using our Centrelink online account guides.

Change of circumstances

You must tell us if things change as it may affect your Parenting Payment.

You can tell us using the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app or your Centrelink online account through myGov.

Read about what you need to tell us.

Next: How to manage your payment

Your options for Parenting Payment.

Page last updated: 30 July 2021