Explainer: COVID-19 mutual obligation arrangements

An iPad displaying: Explainer COVID-19 Mutual Obligations

There are mutual obligation arrangements in place for job seekers as part of the Australian's Government's response to COVID-19

This story was first published on Friday 3 April 2020. If you wish to use this content, please contact media@dewr.gov.au to confirm that the information is still current.

Mutual obligations have been lifted for job seekers until 1 June 2020 to support them during the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This page was last updated 14 May 2020.

This means no one will be penalised for not being able to report their attendance at appointments or activities. Payments will not be suspended and no compliance action will be taken.

As demand remains high on government services, the suspension of mutual obligation requirements will alleviate some of this congestion and give certainty.

These arrangements are being reviewed regularly.

During these challenging times job seekers are encouraged to stay job ready and connected to their employment services provider. Providers have flexibility in their approach during this period.

The arrangements balance job seeker safety and staying connected to the labour market. The flexible arrangements include:

  • All appointments will take place online or over the phone.
  • Job search effort requirements have been reduced to four job searches per month. 
  • Referring participants to suitable online activities where appropriate.

Note: all appointments and activities are voluntary until 1 June 2020.

Arrangements for ParentsNext participants

Once ParentsNext participants are connected with their provider, all future appointments and activities are voluntary while the COVID-19 pandemic is occurring. Providers will contact participants monthly to discuss ongoing support.

Job seekers need to continue their fortnightly reporting to Centrelink.

More information

Correct at time of publication.