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Activity Tests and Mutual Obligation Requirements

There are Mutual Obligation Requirements when applying for

To meet your requirements, you need to apply for jobs, or do training or study.

Job seekers who are aged under 55 and who have Mutual Obligation Requirements need to have a Job Plan. This plan details the strategies you have adopted for a chance of getting a job. The Job Plan must be negotiated with Centrelink staff or a  Employment Services Provider. Be prepared for it to be regularly reviewed.

Job seekers aged 55 years or over, can meet their Mutual Obligation Requirements by doing at least 30 hours per fortnight of:

  • suitable paid work**
  • self-employment
  • approved voluntary work which Centrelink considers suitable for the individual, or
  • a mix of these

When a carer of a child is applying for Parenting Payment, New start Allowance, Youth Allowance, Special Benefit s/he must be the principal carer. This means a carer who performs most of the day to day care and is responsible for the welfare and development of a child under 16 years of age.

Mutual Obligation Requirements are more flexible for principal carers. They are part-time requirements and mean you need to look for suitable paid pert-time work for at least 30 hours per fortnight or undertake other suitable activities.

Part time requirements mean you need to look for suitable paid part time work of at least 30 hours per fortnight or undertake other approved activities. THe principal carer must contact an Employment Services Provider to negotiate a Job Plan.

Job seekers who have a temporary medical condition that affects their ability to look for work, may be exempt from Mutual Obligation Requirements during the time of their illness. Centrelink requires a medical certificate stating why a person is unfit to work for 8 hours or more a week. Centrelink then makes a decision about a person’s ability to undertake suitable work or activities (for at least 15 hours per week) or training

**Suitable or unsuitable

There may be many reasons why a particular activity is suitable or unsuitable. What is unsuitable depends on the circumstances, because the law does not generally define the term unsuitable.

Next Section: Preparing for Work Agreements