Don’t be fooled: An Analysis of jobactive

On this page, we will analyse the obligations of Newstart recipients under the Government’s new jobactive system.

A brief summary of the Government’s Mutual Obligation Requirements for Newstart recipients is available in the chart below. For a quick explanation of the deliberately confusing acronyms used by the Government, click here.


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The entire Mutual Obligation guidelines can be downloaded here, and the Job Seeker Compliance Framework can be downloaded here. The analysis below is drawing mainly from these two documents.

Work for the dole

Let’s start with the centrepiece of the jobactive system: Work for the Dole.

Don’t be fooled into thinking work for dole is the only option open to you if you are currently unemployed. Wading through the endless and repetitive guidelines, a few things stand out.

With the introduction of the new jobactive system on 1 July, all Newstart and Youth Allowance (other) recipients between the ages of 18-30 will be required to Work for the Dole for 25 hours a week, up from 15 hours a week.
Annual activity requirements are lower for those over the age of 30 at 15 hrs per week (fully capable of full time work).

If you are a principle carer or have a temporary illness that reduces your work availability or obligation hours, the mutual obligation hours are lower again.

For example, a principle carer with children 8 or over, aged under 30 has a higher number of participation hours at 15hr per week, than the same situation but aged over 30 at 7.5 hrs per week.

Neither can be forced to agree to work for dole as a compulsory measure, but if you do agree to do it and sign a job plan stating this, it will then be compulsory. This is why knowing your rights is more important than ever before.

It is very easy for a job seeker to be fooled under this new system. If the staff member you are allocated to has misunderstood training, or your Employment Service Provider has simply misinterpreting the information then the obligations you are agreeing to might not be a true reflection of the guidelines or in fact social security law.

Avoiding Work for the Dole

There are a number of circumstances where Newstart recipients will be excused from Work for the Dole.

For job seekers aged between 18-49 who are undertaking an approved activity they will not be required to undertake Work for the Dole.

An approved activities as defined by the Mutual Obligation Framework are:

  • Part-Time Employment
  • Unpaid Work Experience Placements
  • Voluntary Work
  • part-time study/training (in a Certificate III or higher)
  • accredited language, literacy and numeracy courses, which can include

o Skills for Education and Employment

o Adult Migrant English Programme

  • Defence Force Reserves
  • Other government programmes, including state government programmes and the Green Army Programme.

Backing this information up, one jobseeker informed us that he was able to get his full-time non-non-accredited study on his Job Plan, which should excuse him from Work For the Dole. We will update once verification is received, but for now, be sure to request that your study be put on your Job Plan.

For Single Parents judged to be Primary Care Providers (PCP) and job seekers with a Partial Work Capacity (PWC), there are even more circumstances where Providers cannot enforce Work for the Dole (Click here for more information regarding Primary Care Providers).

Below is an excerpt from the Mutual Obligation Requirement Framework:

Certain job seeker cohorts, namely PCPs, those with a PCW (15 to 29 hours per week) and job seekers aged 55 years and over are able to meet their Mutual Obligation Requirements by undertaking certain approved Activities for at least 30 hours per fortnight.

PCPs and job seekers with a PCW (15 to 29 hours per week) who are fully meeting their part-time Mutual Obligation Requirements through 30 hours per fortnight of paid work (including self-employment) or approved study (or a combination) cannot be required to simultaneously undertake any Job Search or meet any other additional requirements. As such, they do not need to remain connected with a Provider and can be Suspended or Exited from the Provider’s caseload. This also applies if the PCP or a job seeker with a PCW (15 to 29 hours per week) is participating in the Green Army Programme for 30 hours per fortnight. See approved short courses under Additional information below.

PCPs are also able to meet their part-time Mutual Obligation Requirements through 30 hours per fortnight of Voluntary Work alone, or in combination with paid work or study, for 30 hours per fortnight. However the following criteria must be met for Voluntary Work to fully meet a PCP’s requirements:

• the principal carer lives in a poor labour market

• there are limited training opportunities locally available (online courses may be considered ‘locally available’ if the PCP has access to a computer)

• there is a significant vocational aspect to the voluntary work.

PCPs aged under 55 years undertaking Voluntary Work alone, or in combination with paid work or study, for 30 hours per fortnight will not be Suspended from Employment Services. However, Providers must not require the PCP to undertake other additional activities.

Over 55s receiving Newstart are also given more flexibility:

Job seekers aged 55 years and over who are meeting their Full-Time Mutual Obligation Requirements through 30 hours per fortnight of paid work (including self-employment) or approved Voluntary Work (or a combination) cannot be required to:

• simultaneously look for additional work

• undertake other activities.

However, they must remain connected with a Provider (although they are Suspended on a Provider’s caseload). They must attend any notified Appointments with their Provider; however, these Appointments should only be related to employment opportunities or job referrals. These Appointments must be made around the times of their paid and/or Voluntary Work hours.

These job seekers still have Full-Time Mutual Obligation Requirements and, as such, are also required to attend job interviews with Employers and accept increased hours of paid work until they obtain a Full-Time job or no longer receive income support.

DHS will make an initial Appointment with the Provider for job seekers aged 55 years and over even if they are already satisfying their Mutual Obligation Requirements at their first contact with DHS. Job seekers who fail to attend this Appointment or any other notified Provider Appointments, or who fail to accept referrals to jobs, may be subject to action under the job seeker compliance framework. See the Employment Provider Services—Job Seeker Compliance Framework Guideline for additional information.

PCW 0 to 14 hours per week or TRWC 0 to 14 hours per week who fully meet their Mutual Obligation Requirements by attending quarterly appointments with DHS do not need to remain connected with a Provider and can be Suspended or Exited from the Provider’s caseload.

Prioritising Training and Study

Study seems to be the main area where information may not be fully correct. Anyone any age can choose a line of study to follow, but the funding of these courses is what is no longer available through the Employment Service Providers themselves especially when the Work For the Dole phase begins.

It can be used only if a job is guaranteed, making it harder to achieve but there are still options for those with no prior level certificates or diplomas (note: the Government will not fund you to complete a course below your current requirements). The course will be funded, and this activity should be sufficient to meet your obligations. There are some exclusions to this as there often is, checking through the Centrelink website, there are links to courses of study that are approved.

The option to study at Tafe is open and it can be paid for via the VetFeeHelp or FeeHelp programs, and University through HECS-HELP, these will give you a debt to be repaid when you reach income over $50,000. Testing if you meet the AUSTUDY rules can give you the time without requirements to complete your studies.

Alternatively, for those on Newstart and Youth Allowance (other) who are studying a course that is not accredited by Centrelink, your study can count to your Annual Activity Requirement but will not provide any additional money to cover expenses.

The ability to be connected to the internet, get to study if in a classroom, and purchase any books will be the biggest problem for those taking this avenue. But this can be achievable in some cases. Fares assistance will be available to those on Youth Allowance completing studies.

For those who were involved in study before the jobactive system took over, you must be allowed to finish this line of study that you have started. If it was in your employment plan, you should be allowed to finish it

Please note: Although you must be allowed to finish this study undertaken before, if the course is not accredited study then you can be made to do other activities to fulfil your Annual Activity Requirement such as Work for the Dole, Voluntary Work etc. If it is an approved study, then you should be eligible for AusStudy.


Negotiate with your Provider – All Barriers to Work must be Considered

There is also a range of factors that must be considered when working out your activities and requirements. If you have increased care for family or children, this has to be taken into consideration; transport problems also have to be considered. It is written in the guidelines.

If you have factors you feel are not being considered, seek clarification from the department of employment. Providers are obliged to consider barriers that you identify, such as lack of childcare options, separated parent with the lesser care but still a percentage of care, transport restrictions, alcohol or drug problems, housing problems.

It may be uncomfortable to reveal these things but to truly be of assistance there might be a need to be open about these problems. Remember they are bound by the privacy act and any breaches can be reported immediately, if you are concerned private information is not being treated in a professional manner.

Being assessed as Stream C with a high amount of barriers to employment means other assistance can be provided in areas such as financial counselling, parenting or family courses, withdrawal programs, with referral to programs and using them to meet activity requirements an option for those in the high stream C. This is determined by a Job Capacity Assessment and Employment Service Providers may trigger the department to assess or reclassify your stream if additional factors occur or become identified. If you feel you might be in the category, be sure to ask what stream you are being assessed at.

Remember this contract you are signing is what you are capable of complying with – if you cannot comply there has to be negotiations around the reasons why and not a simple case of do it or no payments.

Speaking up now can shape the future of employment programs, and allowing them to become a mere compliance tool making demands to suit them, will be at our own peril. Make them work in the nice fluffy way government have put this on paper, question any requirement that does not provide you with skills required to gain employment as this is the basis for most requirements. Seek out your ideal training or work experience options and take them to your provider they might just be able to really help you. A hopeful thought indeed!

If they refuse to help you, seek legal support or request a transfer on the grounds that your provider are refusing to uphold social security law. Download a transfer form here.

Keep an open mind – believe it or not there are good providers out there who will help you. But most importantly, don’t allow yourself to be pushed into an avenue you are not happy to take. Tell them you would like them to reference the mutual obligation requirements, and ask to see a copy. Then go through all the options with the staff member that are in that guideline, getting them to point out the areas they are using to reach the obligations they are telling you about.

As painful as it is, reading the mutual obligations guideline fully can give you a much better idea of what options you really have. One reason Work For the Dole is the main focus, is the income of providers is based on either the limited real job outcomes or work for dole outcomes. But education outcomes will provide them with nothing, so they will not be at all interested in telling you any of these options.

In the guidelines, there are a lot of requirements that jobseekers should follow and others that jobseekers must follow. This is where interpreting the different areas can take on a more deceptive nature and you may be pressured by your provider. If this happens contact the Department (contact details below). Explain as calmly as you can what factors they have not considered and what program you agreed to that you don’t think is fair or in line with your employment prospects.

There will be cases where Work For the Dole becomes the only option, but again a choice should be provided and it should contain some training element suitable to you.

The poor state of the labour market is also a factor that must be considered according to the guidelines, and this can be said for the majority of unemployed people today. This is a consideration that we need to raise, particularly in remote areas.

Get informed and take control.

Don’t be baffled by the Government’s bullshit!

Employment Service Providers must meet standards, and to keep those standards we have to become willing to complain and complain loudly.

The Department of Employment can be contacted via email on or phone 1300 488 064







  1. Is this information provided relevant to job seekers who live in Regional QLD? I’m asking because where i live (outback QLD) the “job network provider” (i use that term very loosely), we that are in the age bracket of 30+ are doing work for the dole 50 hours/fortnight 52 weeks of the year…

    our job mob say we fall under a JSIP or CPD which is different from the coast and therefore have to do more than what the job seekers on the coast are required to do (where there are plenty more jobs that out in regional qld).

    From what i can gather is that us job seekers in regional qld are the only job seekers that do a ‘community based activity’ 24/7. i have lived in the big smoke for many years and WFD was only ever a 6 month program. i have currently been in a WFD programs for 2 1/2 years straight.

    just chasing some relevant information

    are we in REGIONAL QLD getting RORTED??????


    1. Definitely. When you are next seeing your provider ask to see your “phase management” in ESS. This will show you if you are in WFD phase or case management phase. Also ask to see your AAR calculator which will tell you what your required hours are. WFD for most begins after 12 months and is then six months on and six months off. You can complete your WFD inside six months if you do extra hours. This will not commence the next phase sooner.

    2. Sounds like “We in QLD” need to get a job and stop relying on WFD….especially if you have lived in “the big smoke” and still lived on centrelink instead of working…. sounds like you need to get your ‘finger out’ and get your life together mate.

        You’re the only one here with fingers where they shouldn’t be.
        Buffoon imbecile…

      2. P.S. He ain’t your mate, “people” like “you” don’t have “mates”.
        Whatever your name is you are too gutless to publish.

      3. Hey piss…Noted, don’t have the balls to show YOUR name.!! Not a SOUTHERNER by chance, eh? Always the piss with the mouth.

      4. @R Do you know that despite our welfare bill being significantly high its privatisation must be factored in to provide a true picture. Welfare employment service provision in Australia is profitable, this is a fact and its far from OK. I have worked for one in the past and I was unaware of the true nature of their income stream. The Australian welfare system is woefully under audited, just google “Welfare fraud committed by employment agencies,” click a few links, then kindly remove your foot from your mouth and perhaps think about retracting your inflammatory statement. Never mind explaining why a working man such as yourself would be on a page like this in the first place…

        Will Parker

      5. What job? Where are these jobs you talk about?

        If there were jobs available we would be working, and wouldn’t be farting about, painting rocks and getting bottom dollar on the dole.

    3. Hi Tony, the CDP (Community Develop Program) is run by the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet, and the programs are different from region to region. I have included below the list of Regional offices where you may be able to get additional information relating to your personal activity requirement. There is also an email address if you have a complaint.

  2. What happens over 59 is it still the same for 55-59 years. I have found that service providers some are good others are not and have had to switch to get support I felt I needed.

    I am getting better at it, so I suppose I hope to get a job soon. Not sure about the success as I think I have positives but am over 59 not sure how society sees people of my age as glass 1/2 empty or glass 1/2 full. So back to my 20 jobs by 12 midday.

      1. Hi Peter, I just quit my job after 16 years and will be turning 60 in June 2017. If I apply for the dole does that truly mean that I don’t have to search for other jobs?

        1. Hi Nada. Yes you will have to job search but won’t have to do WFD. You can meet your requirements by doing fifteen hours per week of volunteer work. Centrelink can then exempt you from your provider.

      2. I see we have “no annual activity requirement” however now I’m over 60 what are my actual I have to still look work, it’s not clear??.. we aren’t included in your charts above…

  3. Am 5 weeks into work for free, travel 45 km return, max employment refuse fuel cards.whats their fukn go, are they trying my tolerance level or just trying to get me to backhand the do I get assistance

    1. Hi. Sorry, it’s not work for free. It is a requirement under social security law and is designed to help people get off of benefits. Whether this is because it upskills them for employment or annoys them enough to get a job instead is debatable. Your provider should be assisting you with costs to meet your requirements. This must be considered by providers when placing you into an activity.

      1. its blatant slavery, civil conscription, which is illegal, you cannot be forced into civil conscription under section 51, xxiia of the constitution

      1. In rural queensland esp in the north public transport does not exist particularly not on a daily or twice daily basis

    2. You’re not “working for free”. You’re (barely) earning the “free money” other hard working, TAX PAYING Australians are being robbed of to GIVE to you.

      Wake up to yourself, mate.

      1. unless youve been on benefits for over 6 months you have no idea how poor you become mate,its not as easy to switch back to work,and having a grudge over your taxes is no reason to target the welfare groups ,you get plenty for your taxes and its not up to you t decide how its spent. its called sosial security loking aftter less fortunate australians, get a little more real info before you slam us mate

      2. If there’s no welfare then people die – in my case, I wouldn’t have been able to buy food. In some parts of Australia, you can apply for jobs for years on end and receive no interviews whatsoever. Welfare is crucial for the wellbeing of Australian citizens. The fact is, we no longer live in an age where you can just “get a job” if you put in the effort.

        1. I do agree mate. I’ve had several small jobs since having children and been divorced, but nothing that has been permanent since having children. I have no noticeable skills apart from life skills and bringing up children and running a household, paying bills. I have a lot of disabilities due to degeneration of the back and neck, bursitis in the shoulders. I have done school cleaning for the last 4 months and have had several days off due to back pain and not being able to move properly. my job has now been cancelled due to the school wanting to employ another permanent person. I was only employed for 9 hrs a week but that was all I could do anyway. The government does not understand what people with a disability go through.

      3. It is not taxpayers money, you have fallen for the balanced budget bullshit. The government can issue all the money it wants in its own currency, the only limit is the resource wealth of the country.

        Its issue is constrained for political reasons to keep inflation low. The unemployment rate and the rate of the dole are also political decisions, so they demonise and punish the unemployed to keep downward pressure on wages.

        The dole is currently 60% of the poverty line. A realistic rate would see an increase in spending in local businesses because, unlike the rich who get tax cuts, the unemployed cant buy shares or properties.

      4. Have you ever wondered what it would be like for you if your taxes didn’t support the needy? You’d have to spend that money on security and insurance for a start, because to survive without money people often turn to crime. Business might also suffer, because there would be less cash circulating. The flow on might be that you’d have to pay more for your basics and luxuries, as well as your security and insurance. The big picture is so often missed. Also, don’t believe that, if welfare didn’t exist, governments would let you keep it. Pollies would simply pocket more.

      5. Robert Menzies
        (on the establishment of unemployment and sickness benefits)
        Wednesday 29th of March 1944
        “People should be able to obtain these benefits as a matter of right, with no more loss of their own standards of self-respect than would be involved in collecting from an insurance company the proceeds of an endowment policy on which they have been paying premiums for years.”

        Percentage of GDP – Health care, principally Medicare and Medicaid, takes a 28 percent share; pensions, principally Social Security, take a 25 percent share; defense, including foreign policy, veterans, and foreign aid, is 21 percent of spending; and welfare takes 9 percent of spending.

        Poor, poor intellectual peasant with a job and absolutely no understanding. Why not take a swipe at the sick or the old. Do not even get me started on corporate welfare which makes ‘welfare’ look like pocket change.
        Do the math Albert and work out the amount of your personal tax that ends up as welfare is next to nothing.
        Sad sad comment that reflects a soft mind manipulated by pop culture TV.



      8. R…wake up to YOURSELF. I would just LOVE to see what would happen if they stopped looking out for the UNFORTUNATE. There would be raping, break and enters, gangs, underground markets, riots. YOU GUYS would be fuked. WE would head straight for the FORTUNATE and take EVERYTHING off them. There is far more of US than there is of YOU or the POLICE. And we are hard fukers. Survivors. Ex drug dealers, tattooists, bushman, internal traders, we already know how to survive, but you guys are like infants in this survival mode.
        There ARE NO JOBS for people like us. Dont kid yourself, tech has made it for ONLY certain types of idiots. Its gonna fuk up soon, i know so many are already talking about taking a stand. YOU GUYS are being SET UP by your own government, they are all Freemasons and occultists bringing in the PLAN. This DELUSION that you are in, is NOT gonna last foreva. IT NEVER HAS in history….. and we be comin for YOU. You guys wont know what the fuk to do. It’s close…
        ITS IS SLAVERY. Work for the dole is FORCED labor under threat of penalty…. That is THE DEFINITION of slavery. Same thing as ALWAYS…give them just enough to survive. If people are working, WHY NOT PAY THEM AWARD WAGE? Its simple. But STUPID fuks like you are too BRAINWASHED to understand this very obvious thing called SLAVERY. You proudly encourage slavery on the unfortunate and poor? Fukn scumbag.
        People like you will be in hell soon. Have fun as SATAN himself rapes YOU and rips your skin off over and over again for eternity. And i aint joking, i used to work for Satan… He is 100% REAL. And he cant wait to get his hand on the children of SELF and SIN. Life is so short, and it IS A TEST. So many of you are gonna fail BIGTIME. Satans true name is HEYLEL. Sounds like HELL because HE IS. He HIMSELF is your punishment for being such a selfish GROT.

        You are truly STUPID and SELFISH. Taxes?..fukn GOOSE. You are one of the dumbest people if seen discuss this topic so far.

    3. Unfortunately JobActive providers are not permitted to use the Employment Fund to assist you with the costs for transport to Work for the Dole activities.

      “You need to take part in Work for the Dole to keep receiving your income support if you are in jobactive and have mutual obligation requirements. If you participate in the program, you will receive and extra $20.80 a fortnight to assist with expenses such as transport.”
      source (

      Everyone knows that this will not cover all transport expenses, but your providers hands are tied.

  4. Hi,

    My job search provider only offered me two study course in Cert III as my activity so I had to choose one at the time. I completed half of it but now want to actually do a security course which I believe would give me great employment prospects but my employment provider won’t discontinue the course so that I join the security course for funded training! If I dont complete the remaining modules then my Centrelink is cut off yet if I do complete the course then I don’t receive funding for the security course that I am interested in! How do I get around this? are they illegally and unethically treating me wrong?

    1. Im a cert 3 licenced security guard. Just be aware depending on state the security course is only the first step in gaining a licence. Cert 2 course is the bare minimum needed and will cost aprox $1000, and the law will soon change to make a cert 3 the minimum level needed-another $1100 aprox. Then the licence aplication fee is $800 + the liquor licencing approval fee of $200 and you will need an RSA -Another $100, before you can get your approval to work on licenced premises. And i strongly suggest you get all the additions to your licence you can get if you want work. Then there is the $300 a year to renew your licence. And keep in mind 90% of all security work is on a casual basis. They will not hire guards on part time or full time basis-so bank loans are tricky, there is no paid days off or sick leave and you often will only work 6 hr shifts at night on weekends or up to 12 hr shifts at night during the week. Very few guards get more then 25 hrs per week employment.
      After 2 years on casual hrs as a K9 patrol guard im now joinging the army as im sick of not getting enough hrs to get ahead in life.

    2. The issue would be that security courses are only one to two weeks in duration and this will not meet your WFD requirement. You can however still use those hours for WFD. Your provider should take into consideration the possible employment opportunities as a result. Although they are not great in security and there are considerable extra costs to get your security licence. Your provider may be able to help with some of these costs if you have employment to go to. As Ben states, it is a difficult area of employment to get into and difficult to get regular sustainable hours.

  5. Just come up to my 3rd Christmas unemployed. Not referred by my agency to any jobs, no interview tips and no resume assistance given.
    Any part time work I get is through my own resourcefulness but notice that my provider takes it as if they found me that employment by adding it as a Referral by them on the system

  6. Oh shit. God help us all.

    I won’t divulge my exact location, for fear of reprisals.

    I am also in Queensland. Not really
    Remote, but considered remote. I was pushed into signing an agreement with the only local job provider available. No options whatsoever. I also have to travel roughly 40 km’s a day to attend my work for the dole activity. This is a major expense as I currently receive $378 a fortnight. I supposedly have a debt
    although I do not know how or why. There goes $75.00 a fortnight. I also have to pay $48 child support from my payment. Weird, as my daughter is no longer at school and earns more than I do.
    The provider has spent countless thousands on computers, digital media equipment and sound/lighting equipment and it all sits there in boxes. I was happy to look at you tube for a few weeks but by nature I cannot sit still for too long. I ended up demanding that I open the boxes and use the gear. I used to own a recording studio in Sydney and after this an ATM network also in Sydney. The rest of the participants generally spend their days playing tank wars or looking at you tube. I am at a loss. How the hell is any of this supposed to help anyone get a job or create jobs for people. I believe the whole system is a scam. A number crunching exercise to make money from a growth industry. Controlling those who no longer fit into the job market. I am an entrepreneur. I have only spent approx. 4.5 years of my 44 years working for someone else. I started my first business when I was 15, importing confectionary from Mexico and selling to local stores in my area.

    I meet many people coming through this system who are very capable. They only lack direction and the opportunity to shine. Unemployment is not really the issue. Belief and guidance are the real issue. Others lack basic life skills as they have never been given an example of success. Success is not defined by money or even employment status in my mind. Success is defined as balance. I know this all sounds a little bit Anthony Robbins but I assure you this is not how I see things. Some people are able to deal with other people easily, some people are not. Some people can see the larger picture and define the steps needed to bring the larger picture into fruition. This is the simplest way to deal with our current situation. The way I see it, if you can earn $300.00 a week through private enterprise you are ahead. You don’t have to answer to any dickhead asking you to sign your life away. Demanding you work for far less than minimum wage and threatening you all the way whilst laughing all the way to the bank. Correct me if I am wrong. Each provider is paid more for you each year than you receive through centrelink. Have you ever come across the Aboriginal corporations funded by the government to self govern and take care of some of these regional areas? This is not racially motivated. I would make the same claim if it was the smith corporation who was mishandling funds in the name of autonomy. Only it is far easier if you have a never ending “you owe me” type of argument. This is a scary situation we are heading toward. May I suggest those amongst us who have some business acumen use that to play the game of provider and laugh all the way to the bank. 10 participants in our “activity based” programme would provide a turn over of approx. $150,000 per year whilst using any unemployed persons who are either easily manipulated or at least impressionable to oversee the basic operations for a sum far less than minimum wage. Obviously there is no award when you are dealing with the unemployed, they are an underclass to be used as one will use them. No rights whatsoever, as far as remuneration is involved. I should stop now. I might upset someone who has the power to look into my IP address and cut me off.

    Once again.

    God help us all.

    1. By all means give it a go and try to help others to get away from the jsp . There are plenty of $20000 grants in the jobs and growth package. easier to qualify for that than grovel for the dole under jsa bullshit. Although the people who usually get these grants are the first ones to start whinging about “dole bludgers” and how tough they are doing it themselves ignoring the hypocricy of this. Exercise self discipline, follow their rules and give it a go. Good luck to you. You may even qualify for more grants if you can involve murris if you can find good fellows not long grass ones.

    2. thats sad and true mate, yes i agreeas I have also seen similar examplesIm well educated in uni and non traditiojnal ,new world thinking as well.
      The sad and bleak aspect of all this is that we cant even rely on good leadership up top where they waste more than half of their time winging about each other and opposing parties than actually acheiving something of benefit for society.Instead we get bs systems like this or gay marriage to discuss for 6 months then cant decide, or work for dole same energy and it fails yet no one is held accountable, just a huge waste of time and training and implementation ,to start again with another sysytem. Thats just the government sysytem , and I have worked for gov systems 2 times and left in response to utter wastage and incompetence or pure corruption .Its all a big club, if your allowed in , your safe , but once you are identified as outspoken or want to rock the boat to improve or hell make efficiency part of it all your targeted and shot down.Tall poppy is too real here.
      Im just turning into a cynic unfortunately.Now this cashless card bullshit, soon we will be forced to use digital scan licenses and a barcode on our arms so we can truly be part of a controlled big brother scenario all the way like orwells 1984.ruled by the chosedn group and pushed to and fro at their whim by buttons slaves to the big operation of capitalist greed .Very nice isnt it.

  7. Hi, so about a month ago i got told by my jsp that i was finished my 6 months wftd and now a few days ago I got told by my jsp that my wftd phase is up again. Ive only been on newstart for 1 year and a month is thia normal for wdtd to be starting so soon?

    1. WFD is six months on six months off so there should be a minimum of six months break between WFD periods. Ask to see your phase management in ESS. This will show you the different phases you have been in and are currently in. WFD goes for six months even if you finish early. If you have a 15 hour per week requirement but you complete 30 hours per week, you will finish three months early but will technically be in WFD phase for a further three months but will have no requirements. You will then go into case management for six months before going back into WFD.

  8. “Travellers on work visas welcome to apply”. Last time I had a group interview, 3 out of 10 of us were on work visas. Guess what, I didn’t get the job. Employment agencies funded by the Government is another issue. I could write a book based on my experience alone.

  9. Hey guys, I have a Question, now my job provider has found me a job and have a interview tomorrow morning , now the job is truck washing i haven’t had no experience, and the work is out doors now i get very bad migraines from being under the sun for too long, my profession is a forklift driver and had many year experience ,So if i refuse that job because of my reason can they cut my payments? sorry if im off topic thanks.

    1. Terrible job.

      And they’ll fire you for the slightest stuff up, my experience anyway.

      Definitely a last resort type of job.

  10. I am currently unemployed and going through the WfD round about with a provider, I believe I am not getting all of the projects available in my area, just ones they themselves created and run. Had an useless but enlightening call with Dept of Employment. The Job Network Provider is really there to ensure compliance, ensure you as an unemployed do as you are told, not really help the unemployed find work. For me to get information on WfD projects I have contact all providers in my area, I cannot just go online and search a central list

  11. Ugh, I have paid employment for 30 hours a fortnight I am meeting my mutual obligations I have had this for 6 months and today I got cut off for not attending a appointment with my jsp. Cannot wait to call complaints tomorrow……

  12. Hi everyone,

    I sympathise with other job seekers who are encountering problems dealing with Centrelink and/or their Employment Service Providers (ESP) on job-related matters. “Been there … going through that”. The AUWU website is very informative and educational … keep up the good work.

    I am wondering if anyone can assist me on a particular matter. I am currently engaged in the WFD phase (Newstart recipient). After making various enquiries etc., I am close to securing 30 hours per fortnight as a volunteer, thereby becoming eligible to exit from WFD (which I commented in early July 2017). I am 57 years of age.

    Since Jan 2017 I have been enrolled in a postgraduate diploma study program. This program is vocationally-oriented. Details have been included in my compulsory Job Plan. This program consists of three parts (1) online coursework; (2) work experience placement; and (3) continuing professional education (CPE). I have completed the coursework and CPE.

    My enquiry relates to the work experience placement. I am required to undertake either 25 days or 75 days of work experience to complete the study program. Given this program is a statutory requirement to gain employment (in the legal field), will Centrelink consider this work experience (full-time, Mon-Fri) as an approved activity? I can provide Centrelink or my ESP documentary evidence from my education provider all necessary details relating to the program.

    While I will ask Centrelink or my ESP directly about this matter, I am intrigued to know if anyone on this forum has been in a similar situation, particularly when it comes to gaining approval to undertake work experience.

    Many thanks, and all the best with your job seeking efforts!

    1. Hi Mal
      I think it depends on who your ESP is. If it’s a half decent one, ask them, but otherwise, I’d call in to Centrelink. See my post below, I’m doing a Master’s by coursework, and I have just read that the ESP cannot approve Master’s degrees or Doctorates, but the matter of post-grad Diplomas is not mentioned (in my experience, ESPs wouldn’t have a clue what is under-grad or post-grad – the woman I was most recently dealing with – who quit after a month – was recruited from a call centre!). When I worked at the CES, until Howard abolished it, we had to be fully across all this stuff, but these people are just clueless. Their preferred recruits are from sales environments – no legal type people, social work, or psychology types.

    2. Unfortunately Mal, Post Graduate Study is not an approved Work for the Dole activity. In fact if you are on a Newstart payment chances are that it is not considered to meet any of your Mutual Obligations even outside of your work for the dole requirements. While I understand that it seems insane, and with some degree’s you can’t actually work in the field until you complete your post graduate training, it is not something your provider is able to change. The reason this activity is in-eligible is due to the type of payment you are on. Hopefully the below can assist.

      “Full-time academic study (secondary or tertiary study) for NSA recipients – Masters or Doctorate study
      Generally, full-time study of more than 12 months duration or Masters or Doctorate study cannot be approved for NSA recipients except for:

      people transferring to NSA or YA (job seeker) from PP – see ‘Job seekers transferring to NSA or YA from PP’ and
      Single principal carers in receipt of NSA who have been granted PES for a course – see ‘Approved Study (PES granted) for single principal carer NSA recipients’

  13. I am PCW 8-14 per week Stream C. I wonder why I am still under the workload of my Jobactive Services Provider and not being interviewed by DHS every quarterly. I advised my Provider about this, Max Employment, and asked my manager/consultant to suspend me from the workload and instead attend DHS quarterly interview, but she refused and told me that I am not in that category to be suspended from their workload.

    Please advise me of this issue.

  14. I just read the entire Mutual Obligation document for JA providers – and there is NOTHING in the entire 46 pages that has any ‘mutual’ component. All it’s about is what these providers can make YOU do. Nothing about them paying for training for you, actually doing something about GETTING you a job, helping with stuff like presenting yourself for interviews, fares/petrol assistance … I’m 63, and registered with a DES one- they have suspended me now. I am doing a Master’s degree, which they are ‘trying to’ enter/approve in their system (and that document I just read says they cannot approve a Master’s or a Doctorate – I hope they don’t wake up to that! Because of a health condition, I only have to look for work of 15 hours per week, and – despite having three post-grad qualifications now – there is no job out there for me. Age discrimination is alive and well.

    1. Hi Suzanne
      I’ll be 63 next February and have been doing approved volunteer work as a library cataloguer for a respected public library in Adelaide. I work remotely from Sydney to develop their online catalogue. The library is now ‘not approved’ as a volunteer organisation with C’Link. I have all the necessary paperwork from the library to update their details and hopefully get them ‘approved’ again. I envisage problems with trying to lodge this paperwork with someone who has no legal experience. Shall ask to speak to the supervisor and have all the docs sent to Canberra if possible. Age discrimination is endemic at both ends of the spectrum. At least at my age, I can afford to be philosophical about it, albeit in poverty 🙂

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  18. Hi, I’m a 64+ person on Newstart allowance for the last 5 years, now that my wife is earning to much I have received nothing for my Newstart allowance . Can you advise me if I still have to work my 15 hours a week.

  19. They can’t make you you do work for the dole if you are on a partial rate. Even if you lose only $1 due to employment, a partners income, a hobby or bank interest it is not compulsory.

      1. It gets you out of WFD but you still have to do the AAR hours by some other means (volunteer, study, p/t work or non vocational activities if you are Stream C). With volunteering it can be tricky though if the organisation is not on the ‘approved’ list. It really depends on what age you are, your goals and where you live as to what options you have.

  20. I haven’t found any information or articles about clients that don’t receive job seeker appointment notifications both via text message or on the Jobactive website. I STILL haven’t had my claim approved yet. The job search office “Max Employment” were supposed to send a text reminding me of my appointment, but literally never got one. I spoke to Centerlink over the phone and the woman chuckled and said “you’re not the first one”… I was nearly crying because I was afraid they would make me apply again. I’m now waiting for another centrelink customer service rep to help resolve this issue. I swear this whole process is giving me serious anxiety.

  21. Is it compulsory to sign “Authority For The Release of Client Information” form – from the Job Search Provider & the “Privacy Notification and Consent Form” (Agreement to the colection, use and disclosure of ‘sensitive’ personal information – from Jobactive

    1. I don’t understand why the ‘department of prime minister and cabinet’ needs this information and always cross it out and initial it.
      If they want my statistics they can get them from Centrelink, they don’t need my name and address attached to my info.

  22. For Single Parents judged to be Primary Care Providers (PCP) and job seekers with a Partial Work Capacity (PWC), there are even more circumstances where Providers cannot enforce Work for the Dole (Click here for more information regarding Primary Care Providers).

    The above highlighted hyperlink leads to a completely irrelevant page. To paragraph articles describing weaving, weightloss and other unrelated matters

  23. Hi.I am currently working as a casual with a OSHC company and as a tutor for a tutoring company,while i am doing this i am studying my Cert 3 in Education Support i started studying in November 2016.The problem is that both of the employers have cut my hours right back.I have only had 2 shifts since the 1st October with the OSHC employer and the tutoring company has only got me 1 client for 1 hour each week.But i had a interview on Thursday at a school and they have put me on their Teacher Aide Relief list.I had a interview with my JSP on friday morning and they said that they were really pleased with this.I then get home late in the afternoon and i get a call that i have been told that i have to go on the WFTD scheme starting on Monday.The crazy thing is that the OSHC employer is advertising for more casual employees on job sites.I have been pleading with them to give me more shifts but it goes nowhere as they just keep coming back saying there isnt any available.I have applied for over 100 jobs that i am fully qualified to do in childcare,education,warehousing.I have done 3 week placement in a school in Ipswich but getting nowhere and every 2nd week i have to go the JSP and explain what happens and i get nowhere.Surely the JSP can talk to my employer and inform him of what is happening as i have gotten nowhere with my employers.Now that i have to go on the WFTD scheme do i have to tell my current employers that i am no longer working for them.I am 55 years old and have been receiving Newstart Allowance since September.

  24. JNP= Corruption in its purest form!.. and all the poor silly billies actually believe the system was created to HELP you???! Poor dang fools… It was NEVER about YOU!?

  25. Hi, I’ve been on newstart for around 10 months, I’ve secured a casual job and have been declaring my income with no receipt of payments from centrelink but one fortnight I did (due to not earning enough) I also do not look for jobs as I’m not obligated to (over 30 hours per fortnight), but the employment provider keeps making appointment for me and telling me I must attend. the employment provider also said that I could apply for an exception from them as well but this has never happened. I sometimes get the feeling that they are just dragging me along so they get a bonus for finding me a job even thou they did absolutely nothing to help me get my job. I’ve decided after a visit to centrelink (as they were reluctant for some reason to cancel my newstart to just not report anymore and be cut off as this was the advise I was given by one of the centrelink workers there???
    Either way I guess it does not matter what you do you will always look bad on their paper when you exist.

  26. I was given no notice that after 1 year unemployed that I would have to work for the dole .i was told at my appointment today, the last day .I would off thought that 2 weeks prior warning would be polite. And to have just read that they dont have to help pay for study courses after 1year , well they kept that very quite ….Dissapointed from Freo

  27. I think that ide rather retire and get my super , go to south east Asia, live there until i have no money left. Then ill come back and get on the pension, sounds better than Work 4 the Dole….!!!!

  28. I work over 30 hours per fortnight, I have an exemption to mutual obligations as a foster carer and I am still having appointments made for me by a job network ( three years and counting). Centrelink worker said ignore the appointments as I’m not required to see them but why am I still on their books at all? This seems wrong to me.

  29. The Crimes Legislation Amendment states that Forced labour is Illegal!

    Crimes Legislation Amendment – Section 270.6 -Definition of forced labour:
    “forced labour is the condition of a person (the victim) who provides labour or services if, because of the use of coercion, threat or deception, a reasonable person in the position of the victim would not consider himself or herself to be free”.

    If you have not voluntarily offered to do WFD, it is against the law for them to force you to do it by penalizing you.

    If I am going to be offering my service to a business they usually agree is to pay you, also above minimum wage for that matter…
    Remember, they pay you a SUBSIDY (Bribe), not a WAGE for WFD!
    No wage = No work!

    The only reason I used this against them was because they would continually refuse to provide funding for a course and would try to force me to do WFD. Having my rights violated didn’t sit well with me.

    In the end they refused to deal with me. I had an answer for everything they threw at me and they hated it because they knew I was right. They ended up making my appointments with their Manager. Eventually they gave up on forcing me to do WFD and the manager let me do a course!

    I have told 2 other people experiencing the same situation as me how to go about it and it has worked for them.
    It wont work if you just roll over and take a belly rub from them though. Stand your ground. Know your rights!
    Scrap the JobActive program! – Crimes Legislation Amendment (Slavery, Slavery-like Conditions and People Trafficking) Act 2013

    1. Absolutely brilliant move and just as the governments bot State and Commonwealth continuously break the long standing laws on their books and ignore what we can do. I have fought, and am still fighting, against the State government and using the Commonwealth Crimes Act 1914 which is an amazing array of subsections which justifies challenging their lies and deception. Just as an example here are the most relevant ones:

      CRIMES ACT 1914 – SECT 24F Certain acts done in good faith not unlawful

      CRIMES ACT 1914 – SECT 24F
      Certain acts done in good faith not unlawful
      (1) Nothing in the preceding provisions of this Part makes it unlawful for a person:

      (a) to endeavour in good faith to show that the Sovereign, the Governor-General, the Governor of a State, the Administrator of a Territory, or the advisers of any of them, or the persons responsible for the government of another country, has or have been, or is or are, mistaken in any of his, her or their counsels, policies or actions;

      (b) to point out in good faith errors or defects in the government, the constitution, the legislation or the administration of justice of or in the Commonwealth, a State, a Territory or another country, with a view to the reformation of those errors or defects;

      (c) to excite in good faith another person to attempt to procure by lawful means the alteration of any matter established by law in the Commonwealth, a State, a Territory or another country;
      SECTION 13
      CRIMES ACT 1914 – SECT 13 Institution of proceedings in respect of offences

      CRIMES ACT 1914 – SECT 13
      Institution of proceedings in respect of offences
      Unless the contrary intention appears in the Act or regulation creating the offence, any person may:

      (a) institute proceedings for the commitment for trial of any person in respect of any indictable offence against the law of the Commonwealth; or

      (b) institute proceedings for the summary conviction of any person in respect of any offence against the law of the Commonwealth punishable on summary conviction.

      Section 43
      CRIMES ACT 1914 – SECT 43 Attempting to pervert justice

      CRIMES ACT 1914 – SECT 43
      Attempting to pervert justice
      (1) A person commits an offence if:

      (a) the person attempts to obstruct, to prevent, to pervert or to defeat the course of justice in relation to a judicial power; and

      (b) the judicial power is the judicial power of the Commonwealth.

      Penalty: Imprisonment for 10 years.

      (2) Absolute liability applies to the paragraph (1)(b) element of the offence.

      Note: For absolute liability, see section 6.2 of the Criminal Code .

      (3) For the person to be guilty of an offence against subsection (1), the person’s conduct must be more than merely preparatory to the commission of the offence. The question whether conduct is more than merely preparatory to the commission of the offence is one of fact.

      (4) A person may be found guilty of an offence against subsection (1) even if doing the thing attempted is impossible.

  30. I have been working now for 5 months usually full time hours 40 hours a week, It is on call casual still so some weeks I could maybe only do one day a week but I’m always averaging 3 or 4 shifts so 25-30 hours per week,I report my earnings yet I’m still bombarded with harassing letters to come in for appointments I always ring up to tell them I’m working that day and can not attend. If I forget to call or no credit or obviously they should know I’m working because I don’t call I am sent a text at 459pm stating my new start allowance has been cancelled by law please phone job network immediately, The next morning at 901am I am sent a text saying centre link is cancelled due to a missed appointment,I am then bombarded with about ten job ad texts and to please ph my job network (These people know I am working so why are they texting me?) Anyway today I get a text you are required to do work for the dole in a few weeks but if you are working please provide the details,I have told these people the work I am doing and that is it I report my earnings phone when I can’t make appointments and have been working now for 5 months & now they want me to do work for the dole? What the hell?

  31. This article and the responses from many people are very interesting and informative, I was prior to this article, entirely unaware of the AUWU, and am very glad to become informed of such.
    I too have many questions, none of which have ever received a straight answer from centrelink (human services), though there is no requirement for participation for over 60’s, I never the less contribute 32 hours per fortnight in order to ‘qualify’ and confess that it is less than entirely fulfilling, and does not substantiate the platitudes that are fostered by voluntary organisations concerning ‘job skills’ and ’employability’
    these matters become vexatious…to say the least..
    If I may, I want to attach a copy of an article concerning PAYE and Australia’s contribution to WW2 and social welfare, first introduced immediately post war….
    Opinion: Arrogant politicians should be ready for a pensioners’ revolt
    Brian Hale, The Courier-Mail-January 11, 2017
    “THE stigma of charity should be removed from the age pension. It should be an entitlement earned by the person’s personal contribution to the fund,” said a very famous Australian long ago. Who? Former Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies. When? At the time the current pension scheme was introduced. Fund? What fund and what personal contribution?

    You wouldn’t know about it listening to the major parties’ politicians or Senate crossbencher David Leyonhjelm who, echoing former Treasurer Joe Hockey, told the ABC he wants Australians to drop their sense of entitlement to the aged pension, which should only be paid to poor people, and receiving it should be “nothing to be proud of”.

    Well, no David, most pensioners worked and spent a lifetime paying for their pensions. It’s not welfare and, when it was introduced, it was actually meant to be an entitlement. A 7.5 per cent tithe was taken from wages to put into a fund to pay their pensions. Just as workers now have superannuation collected.

    What a good idea! Unfortunately (for pensioners) the Labor Party insisted the contributions shouldn’t be kept in individual accounts as in the UK and the US where retirees get the entitlement earned by their contributions. Instead, it all went into one big pot, the National Welfare Fund. And when the pot got really big, the politicians took it.

    They won’t talk about the historical facts because these days politicians have developed a new “ending the age of entitlement” narrative while pushing the disingenuous line that younger workers are paying tax to support pensioners. Menzies was opposition leader when then prime minister Ben Chifley announced a National Welfare Fund to pay for pensions, unemployment relief, child endowments, even health care with a 7.5 per cent tax increase.

    Menzies insisted that the Compulsory Contribution (levy) should be kept completely separate; that it should be paid straight into a trust account and not mixed with the general revenue. The levy and the National Welfare Fund began on January 1, 1946, and contributions were shown separately on workers’ personal tax assessments for 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1950, with the money paid straight into the special fund from which claims were paid out.

    In 1950 the balance in the fund was almost £100 million or $200 million – in today’s money the equivalent of several trillion dollars.

    But the pot was too big for the politicians to leave alone. Menzies, supported by the Australian Labor Party, amended the Acts governing the fund so the compulsory contributions levy was lumped in with people’s income tax and the whole lot paid straight into consolidated revenue. But the compulsory 7.5 per cent “levy” was still collected and spent.

    In 1977 Liberal PM Malcolm Fraser transferred the balance left in the welfare fund account (by then almost $500 million, or several trillion in today’s terms) to consolidated revenue. But still the 7.5 per cent was taken out of everyone’s pay packet every week. Then in 1985 the Labor Government repealed Acts No. 39, 40 and 41 of 1945 (The National Welfare Fund Acts) and introduced income and asset testing, thus excluding millions of levy and taxpaying Australians from receiving the pension for which they had paid.

    But still the 7.5 per cent levy continued to be collected (while hidden in general income tax revenue.) And to this day it still is collected.

    There have been estimates that the trillions of dollars stolen from the fund and the money paid and similarly stolen (sorry, transferred) since 1985 would be enough to pay a non-means-tested pension to every retiree of far more than $500 a week. If it had been invested, like the Future Fund, the pension might be $1000 a week. Small beer compared with the politicians’ pension deals but a huge leap for older Aussies, 420,000 of whom had their age pensions cancelled or reduced from January 1.

    Ironically, they are the very pensioners who would have the highest pensions if their personal contribution to the “fund” was the yardstick as in the UK and the US. They probably generally have been Coalition voters. But no more.

    Spend time in the RSLs, bowling clubs, voluntary organisations and the like, where these people gather and it is clear they are Liberal-National voters no more. In lieu of an Australian Trump, they see no alternative but One Nation.

    The Coalition, supported by Labor and the Greens, has turned 180 degrees from Menzies’ view the age pension is “an entitlement earned by the person’s personal contribution to the fund” and portrays it as charity. For many Australians this alone shows how far the parties they once supported have strayed from principle.

    The arrogant politicians think they can hypocritically and sanctimoniously speak condescendingly of older Australians. They are in for a shock.

    Brian Hale is a former business editor of

    The Courier-Mail and The Australian

    I am sure you will agree that there is a sense of righteous indignation about this, as well as a great many other matters relating to the governance of this country, nationally, at state government level and local government as well.
    best regards

    1. Complain to the site manager and if that doesn’t work ring up their head office and complain about not receiving any “assistance”. Trust me it works.

  32. What about Site Manager of your ESP calls you (iimplying) too fat to get a job in certain industries, like Warehousing. And Claiming you need to be a redneck to be a truck driver. That I can only get a job in Traffic Controller or Security Officer, and I don’t want to be either of them.

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