188.8.131.52 Compliance failures & penalties - general rules
This section concerns information on general rules around compliance failures and penalties under the compliance arrangements set out in SS(Admin)Act Part 3 Division 3A. These arrangements only apply to job seekers on participation payments who are declared program participants (i.e. CDP participants) under the Social Security (Declared Program Participant) Determination 2018.
A job seeker can only be subject to 1 penalty on a particular day. However, a job seeker may commit multiple failures within an instalment (or payment) period. For example, a job seeker may fail to attend a job interview in the first week of their instalment period, which is a NSNP failure, and miss a scheduled and then a rescheduled appointment with their provider in the second week, which would put them in a reconnection failure period. A job seeker may also commit multiple failures in relation to the same activity.
Example: If a job seeker misses 3 consecutive days of an activity, they may incur 3 NSNP failures if they do not have a reasonable excuse for any of the 3 days.
During a reconnection failure period, a job seeker cannot incur a connection failure or a NSNP failure. However, they can have their payment suspended and can incur a reconnection failure by failing to meet a further reconnection requirement.
During a serious failure period, a job seeker cannot incur a connection failure, a NSNP failure, a reconnection failure or another serious failure (noting that a serious failure period ends on commencement of a compliance activity and a job seeker again becomes subject to all failure types). An unemployment non-payment period may be incurred during a serious failure period (with the 2 non-payment periods running concurrently where they overlap).
Example: A job seeker incurs a serious failure and allowance is not payable for 8 weeks. The job seeker chooses not to undertake a compliance activity, but 3 weeks after the start of the serious failure period they commence employment, which they voluntarily leave a week later without good reason. At the end of their serious failure period they reapply for payment. The job seeker must serve an 8 week unemployment non-payment period. As this commences from the date of unemployment, 4 weeks of the non-payment period have already been served concurrently with the serious failure period. The job seeker therefore has 4 weeks of the unemployment non-payment period left to serve.
During an unemployment non-payment period, only another unemployment non-payment period may be applied (with the 2 non-payment periods running concurrently where they overlap).
Inability to recover an outstanding penalty amount due to a person not being in receipt of a participation payment
Where a person who has an unrecovered penalty amount cancels their participation payment or transfers to a different payment type, the penalty amount will be maintained for a period of 26 weeks pending a return to a participation payment. Where the person is still not in receipt of a participation payment after 26 weeks the outstanding penalty is fully and permanently waived. Where a person recommences a participation payment within the 26 week period, but once again cancels before it can be fully recovered, the 26 week period will begin again.