More time to settle in to life in Australia

15 January 2019

Newly arrived refugees now have longer to build the skills they need before looking for work.

Newly arrived refugees are exempt from looking for work for 13 weeks after they arrive in Australia.

From 1 January 2019, some newly arrived refugees may get an additional 13 weeks to do activities to:

  • help them settle into life in Australia
  • improve their English language skills.

The additional 13 weeks starts at the end of the exemption period. This additional period applies if the refugee is getting 1 of these payments:

  • Newstart Allowance
  • Youth Allowance as a job seeker
  • Parenting Payment single and their youngest child is 6 or older.

What happens at the end of the 13 week exemption period

We meet with newly arrived refugees at the end of their exemption period. All newly arrived refugees must attend this appointment with us. We book this during their new claim interview.

During the appointment, we assess if the newly arrived refugee is suitable for employment services. This includes the level of help they need to find and keep a job. Depending on the outcome, we may refer them to 1 of the following employment services:

  • Disability Employment Services
  • Transition to Work
  • Community Development Program.

If we refer them, the provider negotiates the activities the newly arrived refugee needs to do. They will put these agreed activities in a Job Plan.
If we do not refer them, they get the additional 13 weeks. We negotiate a Job Plan with them. The plan includes activities in approved programs like:

  • the Humanitarian Settlement Program
  • the Adult Migrant English Program.

The newly arrived refugee can also choose to access a jobactive provider as a volunteer. We record it in their Job Plan.
We also book another appointment for the end of the additional 13 weeks.

When the additional 13 week period ends

The newly arrived refugee must attend their appointment with us. At the appointment, we refer them to a jobactive provider. The provider negotiates a new Job Plan with them.

Next steps

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Page last updated: 15 January 2019