1.1.R.80 Recent workforce experience (PA, WA, JSP - cessation of claims for WA exemption)


For the purposes of PA, WA and JSP (cessation of claims for WA mutual obligations exemption), recent workforce experience is defined as employment of 20 hours or more a week for a total of 13 weeks or more at any time during the 12 months immediately before the claim is lodged.

Examples: The following can be taken into account when assessing 'recent workforce experience':

  • certain employment type LMPs such as NEIS
  • when a person is engaged in activities over 20 hours per week that would normally attract a wage, salary or income, EVEN THOUGH they may not receive income (e.g. a person who is self-employed or a farmer, some types of voluntary work)
  • employment overseas
  • periods of leave, whether with or without pay, (i.e. annual leave, carers leave, long service leave, sick leave, maternity leave, personal leave, leave without pay and rostered days off). Note: Leave can only be taken when a person is employed. 'Paid out' leave on termination of employment would not be taken into account.

The following are NOT considered to be employment for the purposes of 'recent workforce experience':

  • voluntary work, where it is done purely for charitable purposes. However, charitable work done in order to gain vocational experience (for example, volunteer counselling work done by a social worker or psychology student) or work that is similar in nature to paid positions in other organisations, would count
  • training type LMPs such as WFD.

Act reference: SSAct section 408BA(3) … recent workforce experience is … (WA), section 771HA(1) Qualification for PA, section 603AC(2) Relief from activity test-cessation of claims for WA

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.3.1 PA - qualification & payability, 3.4.3 WA - qualification & payability, Exemption for JSP claimants who would have previously qualified for WA

Last reviewed: 20 March 2020