Australian Government media release (Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash)

The Government has already put in place flexible job seeking arrangements as a result of the impact of COVID-19. All Mutual Obligation requirements have been suspended until 1 June 2020 to help ease congestion on the MyGov website.

These arrangements will continue to be reviewed regularly. During this period no one’s payments will be suspended and no compliance action will be taken.

The Government has already announced that mutual obligations requirements for jobseekers were made more flexible to eliminate the need for face-to-face interactions with service providers as a result of COVID-19.

Any mutual obligations requirements, if they apply, are able to be undertaken over the phone or by an on-line channel such as Skype.

If and when mutual obligation requirements are reinstated, the following flexible arrangements already apply:

  • Jobseekers who have caring responsibilities, or who need to self-isolate, are able to seek an exemption from their mutual obligation requirements without the need for medical evidence.
  • Job Plans have been adjusted to a default requirement of 4 job searches a month. (or one a week) to reflect the labour market conditions. This job search can be done on-line.
  • Meetings: If required, all meetings with job service providers are able to take place over the phone or via an online channel such as Skype at the discretion of the Job Seeker.
  • Work for the Dole: All activities delivered in group settings that cannot be delivered online have been suspended until further notice;

Sole traders that become eligible for the Jobseeker Payment will automatically meet their mutual obligation requirements during this period by continuing to develop and sustain their business.

During these challenging times jobseekers are encouraged to stay job ready and connected to their employment services provider and up to date on potential job opportunities in their local area. The significant changes we have already made to mutual obligation will assist in achieving this.

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