Stronger participation requirements start on 20 September 2018

27 July 2018

If you’re a job seeker, find out how these changes will affect you.

From 20 September 2018, your Mutual Obligation Requirements will change if you’re:

  • a job seeker between 30 and age pension age, and
  • getting Newstart or Special Benefit with Mutual Obligation Requirements

The changes will support you to be more active in your job search. This will increase your chances of getting a job.

What’s changing

If you’re aged:

  • between 30 and 49 years, your Annual Activity Requirement hours will increase to 50 hours per fortnight
  • between 55 and 59 years, you can’t use voluntary work alone to meet your requirements until you’ve been on payment for 12 months
  • 60 years or over, you may now have an Annual Activity Requirement of 10 hours per fortnight  

If you’re aged between 55-59 years, your Mutual Obligation Requirement is still 30 hours per fortnight. If you want to fully meet your requirements by volunteering, you must spend at least 15 of your 30 hours in paid work. Please keep in mind, we’ll only approve 30 hours per fortnight of voluntary work alone until 20 September 2018.

What you need to do

If you are affected by the changes, we’ll send you a letter or notification in your myGov Centrelink account about attending a phone appointment. You’ll get this letter if you’re already doing voluntary work activities and these changes may affect you.

We’ll confirm the date and time of your appointment in your letter.

You’ll need to attend this appointment or arrange another time. If you don’t, your payment may stop. 

If the changes don’t affect you, we may send you an information letter about the changes. You won’t need to do anything further unless your circumstances change.

If you’re older than 50

If you’re a job seeker aged 50 or over, you may like to get help to gain new skills. The Australian Government’s Career Transition Assistance Program provides reskilling opportunities to job seekers aged 50 years or over. This program has commenced as a trial in some locations.

You can read more about the Program on the Department of Jobs and Small Business website.

Next steps

To find out more, you can:

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Page last updated: 27 July 2018