Mutual obligation requirements

There are things you must do to keep getting your payment and have a better chance of finding work.

Mutual obligation requirements start again in a limited capacity from 9 June 2020.

Who has mutual obligation requirements

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

What you need to do

From 9 June 2020, you need to attend at least 1 appointment with your employment services provider. You can do this online or over the phone.

Your employment services provider will contact you to arrange an appointment, and can help you with all of these:

  • training
  • upskilling
  • employment.

If you’re in the online employment services, you’ll continue to see items in your to do tasks on your dashboard. You may also be asked to consider your employment and training goals, and how you can achieve them. We recommend you complete your tasks if you can.

You should attend job interviews or accept suitable work if offered to you.

Suspensions and penalties won’t apply at this time.

You still need to:

Job Plan

A Job Plan lists the activities you agreed to do with your employment services provider or with us. These activities may include:

  • searching for jobs
  • other approved activities such as training.

During this period, there are no penalties if you don’t complete a Job Plan or are unable to undertake these activities. We’ll let you know when this changes.

If you’re a sole trader or self employed

If you’re a sole trader or self employed, you don’t have to meet mutual obligation requirements.

If you’re referred to an employment services provider, please call us on your regular payment line. We’ll exempt you from mutual obligation requirements. This is so you can work at restarting your business.

When penalties apply

Suspensions and penalties don’t currently apply. We’ll let you know when this changes.

What exemptions may apply

We may allow you to be exempt from mutual obligation requirements in certain circumstances.

This could be something like:

  • a crisis such as the death of an immediate family member, domestic violence or being homeless
  • a disaster at home, for example fire or flood
  • short term care duties for an adult or child.

If you’re sick, or injured, you may be temporarily exempt from your requirements. You’ll need to give us a medical certificate. You can do this using your Centrelink online account through myGov. The medical certificate must state why you’re unfit to work and for how long.

Call us on your regular payment line to ask if you can get an exemption. You’ll need to give us proof of what’s going on.

Exemptions due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

To get an exemption you need to tell us as soon as possible after you’ve isolated. Do this by calling us on your regular payment line. You need to tell us why you’re isolated, for example, if either of the following apply:

  • A doctor or government authority has told you to isolate yourself because of possible exposure to coronavirus.
  • You need to isolate yourself after reading the latest health alerts from the Department of Health.

You don’t need to give us proof to support your exemption. If you need to stay in isolation longer, call us on your regular payment line.

If you’re a principal carer you may also be exempt. You may be exempt if either:

  • your child’s childcare centre has closed
  • you’re caring for an adult with a disability or special needs whose day service or supported workplace premises closes.

Page last updated: 6 July 2020