Job Search - Overview


In order to satisfy their mutual obligation requirements, job seekers must be actively seeking and willing to undertake any paid work that is not unsuitable (1.1.U.55). Looking for work will be the primary activity for most recipients of working age payments. To satisfy their mutual obligation requirements job seekers must generally seek work in a variety of fields, not just those in which they have qualifications or experience.

Most job seekers (including principal carer parents and people with a partial capacity to work) are generally expected to undertake 20 job searches per month. There are some prescribed circumstances in which the number of job searches may be reduced. For further information on setting job search requirements refer to

Job seekers are expected to look for any level of suitable work. While job seekers are encouraged to take on part-time and casual work, this is normally regarded as a stepping stone to obtaining full-time employment, except where job seekers only have part-time mutual obligation requirements due to their circumstances.

Job search must also typically be combined with other suitable activities. The job search requirement and any other suitable activities are set out in a person's Job Plan.

Job seekers with mutual obligation requirements are subject to the compliance arrangements set out in SS(Admin)Act Division 3A. As such, if a job seeker fails to undertake their job search requirements without a reasonable excuse they may be subject to action under the job seeker compliance framework. This can include the requirement to complete a job seeker diary or employer contact certificates. The latter also involves imposition of a financial penalty.

Intending students/employees

People who are enrolled in a course commencing in the future or who have employment commencing in the future are still required to look for work in the meantime.

The job seeker would generally be required to look for work available that would not affect their ability to start the job or course of study. The job seeker should be encouraged to seek temporary, part-time or casual work, even if only for a short period. The rationale for this is in case the course or job does not eventuate as expected. It keeps the job seeker in the market for other vacancies and perhaps better offers.

Policy reference: SS Guide Mutual Obligation Requirements for NSA/YA Job Seekers - Exemption - Temporary Incapacity, 1.1.P.65 Partial capacity to work (NSA, YA (job seeker), PP & SpB (NVH), Job Search - Setting Job Search Requirements - General, 1.1.I.170 Intending employee (YA)

Last reviewed: 16 May 2016