Not meeting mutual obligation requirements in the Community Development Program

Information for job seekers who don’t meet mutual obligation requirements in the Community Development Program.

Who this applies to

This applies to job seekers in the Community Development Program.

Read more about the Community Development Program on the National Indigenous Australians Agency website.

Who this doesn’t apply to

There are different rules for job seekers in jobactive and Disability Employment Services or ParentsNext compulsory participants.

If you're one of these, read more about demerits and penalties for not meeting mutual obligation requirements.

When penalties apply

You must meet all your mutual obligation requirements. If you don’t, you may have your payment suspended. You may also get a failure and a financial penalty. You could lose some or all of your payment.

You can get a penalty or failure if you don’t do the tasks and activities you’ve agreed to do. These are in your Job Plan and may include the following:

  • going to appointments with your Community Development Program provider
  • doing activities such as Work for the Dole
  • agreeing to or changing your Job Plan when asked
  • showing you’re actively looking for work if that’s part of your Job Plan
  • going to job interviews
  • accepting suitable job offers
  • having valid a reason for leaving a job.

We’ll always speak with you before giving you a penalty.

Remember your appointment time and make sure you take part in your agreed activity.

If you can’t go to an appointment or do an activity, you need to talk to your provider. You should talk to them before your appointment or activity is due to start.

What a comprehensive compliance assessment is

A comprehensive compliance assessment is how we find out why you’re not meeting your requirements.

We or your provider will refer you for this assessment if you continue to miss activities and appointments. We may also refer you for an assessment if we’re concerned about your ability to meet your requirements.

Read more about comprehensive compliance assessments.

Serious failures

If after a comprehensive compliance assessment we find you’ve been persistently non-compliant, you may get a serious failure.

You may also get a serious failure if you don’t either:

  • accept a suitable job offer
  • start work you’ve accepted.

A serious failure means we won’t pay you for 8 weeks.

During this time, your payment may start again if you agree to do a compliance activity.

Unemployment non-payment period

If you choose to leave your job or you lose it because of misconduct, we may not pay you for either:

  • 8 weeks
  • 12 weeks if you got relocation assistance for the job from your provider.

This won’t affect your family payments.

We may waive the non-payment period if you meet certain conditions and are in severe financial hardship.

When to ask for a review of a decision

If you get a failure and disagree with the decision, you can ask us to review our decision.

Read more about reviews and appeals.

Page last updated: 16 March 2021