3.11.7 Mutual obligation requirements for people with a partial capacity to work

Introduction

A job seeker who is assessed as having a partial capacity to work will have mutual obligation requirements which match their assessed capacity to work.

Job seekers will be assessed as having a partial capacity to work if both their baseline work capacity and work capacity within 2 years with intervention are less than 30 hours per week. This can be because of a physical, intellectual or psychiatric impairment.

A job seeker's mutual obligation requirements are based on their future assessed capacity with intervention. Job seekers are not required to immediately participate at the higher work capacity, however it is intended that a job seeker's capacity to participate would be built up gradually through participation in a suitable program of assistance or other appropriate employment service.

Note: When a job seeker's work capacity with intervention is less than their baseline work capacity due to a deteriorating condition, their mutual obligation requirements are based on their baseline work capacity.

A job seeker may also have a temporary medical condition and have a temporary reduced work capacity (TRWC), which is identified through an ESAt. Job seekers will have reduced requirements for the period of their TRWC. When setting appropriate activities, the delegate must ensure that activities and the level of participation take into account the job seeker's TRWC.

Partial capacity to work of 0-7 or 8-14 hours a week

A job seeker with an assessed capacity to work 0-7 or 8-14 hours a week can meet their mutual obligation requirements by attending a quarterly interview with Services Australia to discuss their participation and meeting the terms of their Job Plan. The job seeker can volunteer to accept a referral to a suitable program of assistance recommended by their ESAt/JCA, but cannot be penalised for not accepting a referral.

Partial capacity to work of 15-29 hours a week or principal carer parent

A job seeker with an assessed capacity to work of 15-29 hours per week can fully meet their mutual obligation requirements by undertaking 15 hours per week of paid work (including self-employment) or approved study (or a combination) . If fully meeting their requirements, they cannot be required to simultaneously undertake any job search or meet any other additional requirements. If they are not fully meeting their requirements through sufficient participation in the above activities, they will be required to be connected with an employment services program and to look for work of 15-29 hours a week which matches their capacity.

Partial capacity to work job seekers meeting their requirements through the above activities are not required to look for work or connect with a provider, although they can choose to volunteer for employment services should they wish to do so.

They can also meet their requirements by engaging in a suitable program of assistance recommended by their ESAt/JCA. A job seeker may be required to accept a job of less than 15 hours a week providing the work is suitable, and supplement this work with job search for suitable work of 15 hours a week. A job seeker working MORE than 15 hours a week may leave this job to accept an offer of paid work of 15 hours a week without penalty.

For job seekers assessed as having a partial capacity to work, the items recommended by the ESAt/JCA will be the most suitable for inclusion in their Job Plan.

Example 1: Bridget is on JSP and has been assessed as having a partial capacity to work of 15-29 hours a week. Bridget works 18 hours a week at a craft store. Bridget is meeting her mutual obligation requirements in full as long as she continues working 15 or more hours a week.

Example 2: Jess is on JSP and has been assessed as having a partial capacity to work. Jess is currently working 20 hours a week. Jess reduces her hours to 15 hours a week and continues to satisfy her mutual obligation requirements.

Act reference: SSAct section 16B Partial capacity to work

Policy reference: SS Guide 1.1.P.65 Partial capacity to work (JSP, YA (job seeker), PP & SpB (NVH)), 3.11.1.10 Setting job search requirements, 3.11.3.10 Study & training

Last reviewed: 20 March 2020