Retrenched or made redundant

If you’ve taken a redundancy or leave payment from your employer, we can provide you with support while you look for another job.

If you receive a termination or redundancy payment

Termination or redundancy payments are designed to provide you with enough money to cover the cost of living for a period of time after you leave work.

There may be a waiting period before you can get an income support payment from Centrelink. This period is usually the length of time the termination covers.

Make sure you check the terms of your termination package, including the period of time the payment is intended to cover.

If you receive a leave payment

If you or your partner take leave and will return to work with the same employer immediately afterwards, this is treated as employment income. You will need to report this income.

If you or your partner receive income for accrued leave but do not actually take leave from work, you will still need to report this.

If you pay or receive child support you should tell us about your change of situation. Changes to your circumstances may affect the amount of child support you pay or receive. You can update your Child Support arrangement by using your Child Support online account or calling 131 272. Read more about Changes of circumstances that affect your child support.

Employment services assistance

A Job Services Australia or Disability Employment Services provider will work with you to help you get back into the workforce as soon as possible. Depending on your circumstances, these providers can help with:

  • job search training and assistance, such as resumé preparation and advice on the best ways to look for work
  • access to telephones, computers, stationery and employment vacancy listings
  • access to training, skills development and other assistance you may need

We can refer you to a Job Services Australia provider in your area.

Find out more about Job Services Australia and Disability Employment Services.

If you live in a remote area, you may need to participate in the Remote Jobs and Communities programme. This programme provides job seekers living in remote areas with greater opportunities to gain local employment and skills to match local jobs.

More information about the Remote Jobs and Communities Programme can be found on the Department of Employment website.

Income support while you look for work

If you have lost your job, Newstart Allowance can provide financial help if you are looking for work. It can also support you while you take part in activities that may increase your chances of finding a job.

Youth Allowance is financial help for 16 to 21 year olds who are looking for full time work or undertaking approved activities.

Parenting Payment provides income support, to help with the cost of raising children, if you are a parent or guardian. Parenting Payment is paid to the main carer of a child. Only 1 parent or guardian can receive the payment.

Payments to help you study or train

There are a range of payments to help with the cost of living while you study or train.

Austudy provides financial help to full time students and Australian Apprentices aged 25 or over.

ABSTUDY provides help with costs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who are studying or undertaking an Australian Apprenticeship.

Youth Allowance provides financial help for young people who are:

  • studying or training full time
  • undertaking a full time Australian Apprenticeship
  • looking for work, or
  • temporarily unable to work

In addition to these payments you may also be able to get other payments to help you study or train.

The Pensioner Education Supplement helps students improve their chance of finding a job through study. It helps with the ongoing costs of full time or part time study in a secondary or tertiary course.

You may also be able to get Education Entry Payment to help with the cost of study.

Additional support

You can also access additional support from a range of organisations.

Financial Information Service

The Financial Information Service is a free, confidential service that provides education and information on financial and lifestyle issues to all Australians.

Social work services

Our social workers can help you during difficult times by providing confidential counselling, support and information.

Fair Work Ombudsman

If you have been made redundant and would like to check whether you’ve received the correct entitlements visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website. They may be able to help you recover any outstanding entitlements.

Fair Entitlements Guarantee and the General Employee Entitlements and Redundancy Scheme

If you lose your job because your employer has entered bankruptcy or liquidation and there are insufficient funds to pay your outstanding entitlements, you may be able to get financial help under the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG) or the General Employee Entitlements and Redundancy Scheme (GEERS).

Fair Entitlements Guarantee

This applies to unpaid employee entitlement claims for all employer insolvency events that occurred on or after 5 December 2012. For more information visit the Fair Entitlements Guarantee website, call 1300 135 040 or email feg@employment.gov.au

General Employee Entitlements and Redundancy Scheme

This scheme continues to apply to unpaid employee entitlement claims for employer insolvency events that occurred before 5 December 2012. For more information visit the General Employee Entitlements and Redundancy Scheme website, call 1300 135 040 or email geers@employment.gov.au

Employer superannuation contributions are not covered. You can contact the Australian Taxation Office to pursue your outstanding superannuation entitlements.

Labour adjustment packages

Labour adjustment packages are available for workers who have been made redundant from eligible companies in the automotive, manufacturing or textile, clothing and footwear industries. If you are eligible you can register directly with a Job Services Australia provider.

Mortgage relief

If you are experiencing difficulty paying off a loan or mortgage as a result of losing your job, you may be able to postpone your mortgage loan repayments for up to 12 months. You will need to contact your financial institution or bank directly to find out if you are eligible. If you believe your bank has not lived up to their agreement to assist borrowers who are experiencing financial difficulty, you may wish to raise this with their complaints area. You can also call the Financial Ombudsman Service on 1300 780 808 or the Credit Ombudsman Service on 1800 138 422.

Information for Employers

We can help you provide support and information to staff facing redundancy or retrenchment. You can advise retrenched workers to contact us and register for employment services and to test their eligibility for income support. This includes job seekers who are not eligible for income support but who wish to access employment services.

Other government and community support services

There are a range of other organisations that provide support services and information you may find helpful.

MoneySmartThe MoneySmart website has information to help you make the most of your money. Visit the Losing your job section on the MoneySmart website.

If you are experiencing depression, anxiety or stress, you may find it helpful to talk to somebody about your mental health.