What Should Not be Included in a Job Plan


All terms included in a Job Plan must be considered within the parameters set out in the relevant provisions of social security law. A job seeker (including an early school leaver) must have the capacity to comply with each term (requirement) that is included in the Job Plan and where multiple terms are included, the job seeker must have the capacity to comply with all of them combined.

Job Plans may be reviewed at any time at the request of either the job seeker or a delegate of the Secretary.

Types of requirements that a Job Plan must not contain

A Job Plan must not contain a requirement that is specified in Social Security (Employment Pathway Plan Requirements) Determination 2015. Currently this determination states that a Job Plan must not contain a requirement for a person to:

  • participate or otherwise be involved in a criminal activity,
  • involuntarily undergo medical, psychiatric or psychological treatment,
  • undertake an activity outside of Australia,
  • seek work in or be involved in the sex or adult entertainment industry,
  • undertake or seek to undertake an activity that would contravene Commonwealth, state or territory laws relating to discrimination or occupational health and safety,
  • undertake or seek to undertake an activity that would aggravate an existing illness, disability or injury, or
  • undertake or seek to undertake an activity that does not provide appropriate support or facilities to take account of a person's illness, disability or injury.

A Job Plan must also not contain:

  • irrelevant information, such as detailed personal medical information or specify details of medical conditions and medications,
  • information pertaining to the job seekers' day-to-day lives as a compulsory item, such as getting your child to school or assisting with homework,
  • participation in WFD (or other approved programs of work) as a compulsory activity for job seekers receiving less than the full rate of income support, where the rate is reduced due to the income test (either due to the job seeker's income or their partner's). However, this can be included in the Job Plan as a voluntary item,
  • participation in WFD as either a compulsory or voluntary activity for job seekers under the age of 18,
  • additional requirements for principal carer parents, those with a partial capacity to work, or aged 55 and over who are fully meeting their mutual obligations through paid work (or in some circumstances volunteer work). See for more detail.

Total hours of all requirements in a Job Plan

In addition to each individual term of a Job Plan being appropriate, the total hours of all requirements of a Job Plan must also be appropriate. This means that all of the requirements of a job seeker's Job Plan taken together must be achievable, and consistent with policy and legislation.

As a safeguard, Job Plans for those job seekers subject to the targeted compliance framework (see 3.1.14) are considered inappropriate if they contain total hours of activity greater than the below (not including job search, provider or third party appointments or job interviews):

Age Full time - maximum total activity hours per fortnight Principal carer parent/partial capacity to work - maximum total activity hours per fortnight
Under 30 75 61
30 to 49 75 61
50 to 59 61 51
60+ 41 41

For clarity, a Job Plan should be tailored to the job seeker's individual circumstances. A Job Plan may also be inappropriate where it contains total hours that are fewer than those specified above if it is inconsistent with policy or legislation. The above total number of hours are maximum limits and so also not intended as a prescriptive guideline on how many total hours of activities should be included in a Job Plan. Total hours of activities should be determined on an individual basis.

Act reference: SSAct section 607B Newstart Employment Pathway Plans-requirement to participate in an approved program of work, section 544B(7) YA Employment Pathway Plans - terms

Policy reference: SS Guide 1.1.S.410 Suitable activities (NSA, YA), What can be included in a Job Plan, Unsuitable Work

Last reviewed: 2 July 2018