The Australian Government has suspended mutual obligation requirements for job seekers and participants in the state of Victoria and the Hunter and Upper Hunter Regions of New South Wales after the announcements of a seven-day COVID-19 lockdown in those areas.
The temporary suspension of mutual obligation requirements in Victoria is in place from today, Thursday 5 August 2021, and will be remain in place until Tuesday 17 August 2021.
For New South Wales, the temporary suspension of mutual obligation requirements will apply to the Local Government Areas of Cessnock, Dungog, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Muswellbrook, Newcastle, Port Stephens and Singleton Local Government Areas from today, Thursday 5 August 2021, and will remain in place until Tuesday 17 August 2021 inclusive.
These arrangements will apply to job seekers in jobactive, Online Employment Services, Disability Employment Services and participants in ParentsNext who live or are serviced in these areas.
Job seekers and participants in these areas will not face payment suspensions or financial penalties for failing to meet their mutual obligation requirements that are due, or are arranged to occur, during the suspension period.
Job seekers and participants in these areas are encouraged to stay connected to employment services to ensure they are supported to access the full range of assistance, including mental health services if required. Job seekers should continue to check when their mutual obligation requirements are due after the temporary suspension ends.
Special Circumstances Exemptions continue to be available through Services Australia for job seekers and participants who require them.The Government will continue to closely monitor the situation in Victoria, New South Wales, and other jurisdictions affected by COVID-19 restrictions.