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Mutual Obligation

Changes to Payment Suspension, 7 December 2020

If you are a Jobseeker or Participant, it is vital to know how Mutual Obligations changed today (7 December 2020). These changes apply to everyone in jobactive, ParentsNext and Disability Employment Service (DES) programs. Whether you are a job seeker with us or a digital job seeker, this change includes you.

From now on, if you have missed a requirement or activity in your Job Plan or Participant Plan, you will have two days to resolve, before your payment is put on hold. Payment suspensions no longer occur immediately. This change aims to help you in-case you miss a requirement in your plan.

What happens if I missed a requirement or missed an activity?

If you missed a requirement, activity or a meeting with us, you will be sent an SMS, email or Mygov message. For job seekers, it is also essential to login to your jobactive dashboard. This dashboard is potentially the most direct way to address the issue. A guide to using your dashboard can be found here.

Note: It is important that you call us if the message cannot be addressed yourself.


Who should I talk to?

There are multiple ways to solve this and many people you can talk to.

The best way to get help is to call our Customer Service Centre on 1300 422 454. We can help you with your income support payment. If you can’t reach us directly, call the Department of Education, Skills and Employment’s Digital Services Contact Centre at 1800 314 677.

There is a reason why I missed a requirement. What happens now?

You won’t get a demerit if you have a good reason for missing a requirement or activity. This two-day safety net exists to help you as much as possible. If your personal circumstances become a challenge, you can talk to us about re-engaging your support payment.

How can I avoid this in the future?

We are always here to help seekers and program participants. We want to support you as much as possible, especially with interactions of a short timeframe. If you are having difficulties or unforeseen challenges with your plan, please talk to us about the best approach to move forward. This could mean revising your Job Plan or Participation Plan, providing you with extra information about mutual obligation or giving you referrals to other services.

If you need more information about these changes, please see the fact sheet uploaded on the DESE website here.

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