There are penalties for not meeting  mutual obligation requirements that may include stopping payments or getting a failure. Note that Centrelink staff cannot impose a failure without speaking with you first. The term failure refers to the following circumstances:

Non-attendance failure
If you don’t go to appointments with your employment services provider, without a good reason such as illness or a bereavement your payment may stop. You may also get a non-attendance failure. If you can let your employment provider know the circumstances before the appointment that might prevent this.

Connection failure

Connection failures occur when a person does not enter into a job plan when asked, or attend compulsory appointments without good reason or fails to meet job search requirements. While this does not incur loss of finances, failure to meet the new appointments and agreeing to job plans might mean payments will then stop.

Connection failures are also incurred when a person does not return a satisfactory Job Seeker Diary and this means they may need to complete Employer Contact Certificates.

A No Show, No Pay failure may mean loss of  a day’s payment for each day a person fails to meet their requirements.

When a person has a history of not meeting their requirements Centrelink staff or the employment provider will refer them for a comprehensive compliance assessment.

Where there is persistent failure to comply with the requirements then payment may be stopped for 8 weeks, though it can start earlier should the person enter into new agreements and actively participate.

The best way to avoid these penalties is to stick to agreements, look for work, attend job interviews or any training programs and Centrelink appointments. Informing staff in advance of reason for not complying is a good idea.

If you get a failure and disagree with the decision, you have the right to appeal.