Seasonal work preclusion period

This applies if you or your partner finished seasonal, contract or intermittent work within 6 months of submitting your claim.

This waiting period may apply if you're claiming one of these payments:

  • JobSeeker Payment
  • Youth Allowance
  • Parenting Payment
  • Austudy
  • Farm Household Allowance
  • Special Benefit.

What seasonal, contract or intermittent work is

Seasonal work is work you do that's only available for part of each year.

Contract work is any work you do under a contract for a specific purpose or time. This also includes sub contract work.

Intermittent work is work that's available from time to time. This includes work that:

  • you can predict will end or not be available for a period
  • lasts less than 1 year and doesn't accrue leave entitlements.

Seasonal work includes jobs such as:

  • fruit picking
  • harvesting
  • shearing
  • fishing.

Contract work includes jobs such as:

  • consultancy work
  • work on building sites.

Intermittent work includes work that has regular shut downs such as factories that shut down:

  • over the Christmas period
  • for regular maintenance.

It can also include:

  • work in the arts and entertainment industries
  • work that stops and starts with regularity, such as work in the mining or oil industry
  • work that's temporary by nature
  • relief teaching or relief work in the health industry
  • non-ongoing work, or work where a period of unemployment is predictable.

Which payments it applies to

The seasonal work preclusion period may apply if you're submitting a claim for 1 of the following payments:

If it applies, you’ll have to wait before we pay you. The time you need to wait depends on how much you earned and how long you were working.

How to report seasonal, contract and intermittent work

Download and complete the Seasonal, Contract, and Intermittent Work Details form before you make a claim for a payment. This applies if you or your partner have done seasonal, contract or intermittent work within the past 6 months.

Remember, if you do any work, you must report your income while you're getting a payment from us.

What exemptions or waivers are available


You may be exempt for the seasonal work preclusion period if:

  • you have permanent employment expected to last more than 12 months
  • you have any work, other than seasonal work, where they paid you leave entitlements
  • you're in a rehabilitation program
  • you’re doing a Stream C activity with your employment services provider
  • you're doing an activity equivalent to a rehabilitation program or Stream C as part of the Community Development Program.

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

If your partner has recently died

This waiting period may not apply if you’re recently widowed and both of these apply:

  • you’re claiming either JobSeeker Payment or Youth Allowance with a bereavement period ending on or after 20 March 2020
  • you submitted your claim within 14 weeks of your partner’s death.

If you were pregnant at the time of your partner’s death, you must have submitted the claim before either:

  • the birth of your child
  • end of the pregnancy.


We may waive the seasonal work preclusion period if you're in severe financial hardship.

If you are, you can either:

  • tell us as part of your phone appointment with us
  • call us on your regular payment line at any time.

We can only do this if the financial hardship is due to unavoidable or reasonable expenses. You’ll need to give us proof such as receipts.

Page last updated: 11 August 2022.
QC 28681