Understanding your participation requirements

From 20 September 2018, there will be changes to some job seeker’s participation requirements, including mature age Australians.

Why is the Australian Government changing participation requirements?

The government is strengthening participation requirements for some people receiving an unemployment payment, including mature age Australians. Changes to participation requirements recognise that many older Australians are working longer. The changes aim at encourage more people to actively undertake activities to improve their chances of getting into paid employment.

Changes to participation requirements will apply to job seekers aged 30 to 49 and aged 55 to the Age Pension age.

Changes from 20 September 2018
Age Group Change
Under 30

No changes. Job seekers have:

  • Mutual obligation requirements including
  • Annual activity requirement of 50 hours per fortnight.
30 to 49

Job seekers have:

  • Mutual obligation requirements including
  • Annual activity requirements of 50 hours per fortnight (an increase from 30 hours per fortnight).
50 to 54

No changes. Job seekers have:

  • Mutual obligation requirements including
  • Annual activity requirement of 30 hours per fortnight.
55 to 59
 
First 12 months receiving payments

Changes to mutual obligation requirements.

30 hours per fortnight of paid work or volunteer work, of which at least 15 hours will need to be in paid work, to fully meet mutual obligation requirements.

55 to 59
 
After 12 months receiving payment
Job seekers can fully meet their mutual obligation requirements through any combination of paid work or volunteer work totalling 30 hours per fortnight.
60 to Age Pension age

Job seekers have mutual obligation requirements.

Those not fully meeting their mutual obligation requirements through 30 hours per fortnight of paid work, volunteer work or a combination of the two, will have an annual activity requirement of 10 hours per fortnight (previously they had no annual activity requirement).

Mutual obligation requirements

In return for receiving income support, job seekers have mutual obligation requirements. They may be required to undertake job search, attend employment services provider appointments, and satisfy annual activity requirements.

From 20 September 2018, mutual obligation requirements will change for job seekers aged 55 to 59 who have been receiving income support for less than 12 months.

Changes to mutual obligation requirements
Age Group 20 September 2018
55 to 59
First 12 months of payments
If a job seeker undertakes 30 hours per fortnight of paid work or volunteer work, and at least 15 hours are in paid work, they have no other mutual obligation requirements such as undertaking job search, attending provider appointments, or undertaking additional approved activities.

Annual activity requirements

The annual activity requirement forms part of a job seeker’s overall mutual obligation requirements, and only applies to job seekers in jobactive. Job seekers are required to undertake some additional activities—such as Work for the Dole, National Work Experience Programme, or Career Transition Assistance—for six months of each year after their first year on payment. These activities are in addition to their overall mutual obligation requirements, such as job search and attending provider appointments. Most jobactive job seekers have annual activity requirements and different age groups have different hourly requirements.

Changes to annual activity requirements
Age Group Current 20 September 2018
Under 30 50 hours per fortnight 50 hours per fortnight (no change)
30 to 49 30 hours per fortnight 50 hours per fortnight (20 hour increase)
50 to 59 30 hours per fortnight 30 hours per fortnight (no change)
60 to Age Pension age n/a 10 hours per fortnight (10 hour increase)

What does this mean for mature aged job seekers?

Options to meet mutual obligation requirements from 20 September 2018
Age Option 1 Option 2
50 to 54 30 hours per fortnight of annual activity requirements and other requirements such as job search, attending appointments, etc.
55 to 59
 
First 12 months receiving payments
30 hours per fortnight of paid work or a combination of paid and voluntary work (of which at least 15 hours must be paid work)
  • Entering into a Job Plan, undertaking job search, attending appointments, undertaking activities etc
55 to 59
 
After 12 months receiving payments
30 hours per fortnight of paid or voluntary work, or a combination of the two
  • 30 hours per fortnight annual activity requirement (six months each year)
  • Entering into a Job Plan, undertaking job search, attending appointments, etc
60 to Age Pension age 30 hours per fortnight of paid or voluntary work, or a combination of the two
  • 10 hours per fortnight annual activity requirement
  • Entering into a Job Plan, undertaking job search, attending appointments, etc