3.11.9 Mutual obligation requirements for early school leavers

Mutual obligation requirements for early school leavers

To receive YA (other) people under 22 years of age without Year 12 or an equivalent qualification (referred to as early school leavers (1.1.E.05)) generally need to participate for at least 25 hours per week (15 hours per week for those early school leavers who are also principal carer parents or have a partial capacity to work of 15 to 29 hours per week) in:

  • full-time education or training, or
  • a combination of part-time education or training and part-time work, or
  • other approved activities of 25 hours a week in addition to up to 20 compulsory job searches each month.

Once Services Australia verify that the early school leaver has completed Year 12 or an equivalent qualification, or they turn 22, the young person will no longer be an early school leaver and will become subject to the mutual obligation requirements that apply to other job seekers.

Job search requirements must not be included in the Job Plan of early school leavers who are in full-time education or training, or who are undertaking a combination of part-time education or training and part-time work for the required number of hours per week. Job search should, however, be included as a compulsory term in the Job Plan of early school leavers who are not undertaking approved education or training.

Where an early school leaver is participating in full-time education or training, they may also be eligible for student payments.

Early school leavers who are enrolled and commenced in an approved education or training course cannot be compelled to accept work if it would interfere with their current or future study. However, early school leavers are required to accept paid work where the employment would not interfere with their study or training.

Act reference: SSAct section 541 Activity Test (YA), section 731A Activity test (SpB), section 542 Situations in which a person is not required to satisfy the activity test (YA), section 544B YA Employment Pathway Plans-terms, section 544DA YA Employment Pathway Plans-early school leavers

Last reviewed: 20 March 2020