Your Rights

As a Newstart recipient, you have a number of rights that are designed to protect you from unfair decisions. However, in many cases Centrelink and Employment Service Providers take advantage of the fact that many Newstart recipients do not know these rights.

Click here for a PDF copy of our Unemployed Workers’ Rights Guide.

This is why it is so important for unemployed Australians to understand all their rights when dealing with these privately run employment agencies.

The Australian Unemployment Union has looked over all the Jobactive guidelines and established a complete guide to your rights below. For a full list of all job active guidelines, click here. If your Employment Service Provider does not respect your rights, call the Department of Employment on 1800 805 260 to formally report them.


Part One: Your Rights at Employment Service Providers

Employment Service Provider Service Commitments

1.1   Employment Service Provider Service Guarantees
1.2  Employment Services Code of Practise

Your Right to a Fair Job Plan

1.3  Your Right to Carefully Consider your Job Plan
1.3.1  Negotiating a Fair Job Plan
1.3.2  Updating your Job Plan due to Changing Circumstances
1.3.3  Ensuring your Limited Work Capacity is Recognised
1.3.4  What must not be Including in your Job Plan

Your Right to Negotiate Suitable Mutual Obligation Requirements

1.4  Different Mutual Obligation Groups
1.4.1  Your Right to a Partial Capacity to Work Consideration
1.4.2  Your Right to a Temporary Reduced Work Capacity Consideration
1.4.3  Your Right to a Principal Carer Parent Consideration
1.4.4  You rRights Regarding Unforeseen Breaks in Activities
1.4.5  Your Right to Choose your Own Approved Activity
1.4.6  Your Right to be Exempt from Work for the Dole

Your Right to Change Employment Service Providers

1.5  Changing Providers Due to Change of Address
1.5.1  Changing Providers by Agreement
1.5.2  Changing Providers Due to Relationship Failure
1.5.3  Changing Providers for Better Servicing
1.5.4  Changing Providers Due to ‘Maximum Time with Provider’ Policy

Your Right to Fair Scheduling of ‘Job Search’ Appointments

1.6  Your Right to a ‘Reasonable Excuse’
1.6.1  Reasonable Excuse Definition
1.6.2  Unreasonable Excuse Determination
1.6.3  Your Right to Reasonable Notice
1.6.4  Rescheduling an Appointment after a Penalty

Your Right to be Referred to a Fair and Suitable Workplace

1.7  Your Right to Reject Unsuitable Work
1.7.1  Unsuitable Work Definition
1.7.2  Unsuitable Work for People with Partial Capacity to Work
1.7.3  Unsuitable Work for Principal Carer Parents
1.7.4  Your Right to Suitable Work

Your Right to Privacy

1.8  Refusing to Complete a ‘Pre-Employment’ Survey

Your Right to Fair Job Search Requirements

1.9  Job Search Streams
1.9.1  Your Right to Reduced Job Search
1.9.2  Paid Work Reducing Job Search
1.9.3  Other Reasons for Reduced Job Search

Part Two: Your Rights at Work for the Dole

Part Three: Disputing an Employment Service Provider Penalty


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