3.5.1.200 Suitable Work (PP Recipients & Principal Carers)

Contents

This topic concerns suitable work arrangements for both PP recipients and principal carers in receipt of NSA or YA. In this topic, PP recipients and principal carers will be collectively referred to as 'principal carers'.

In general, principal carers with mutual obligation requirements are subject to similar 'suitable work' requirements as other job seekers in receipt of participation payments.

This topic provides additional information on work that is suitable for a principal carer with part-time mutual obligation requirements. For a principal carer, suitable work includes work that the person is capable of doing, taking into account their caring responsibilities and access to appropriate child care, if required, in addition to the other legislated criteria that apply to all job seekers. Principal carers who do not accept offers of suitable employment without a 'reasonable excuse' may be committing a serious failure or work refusal failure.

Principal carers who voluntarily leave or are dismissed for misconduct from suitable employment without a good reason may be subject to an unemployment non-payment period or unemployment preclusion period.

The delegate must take into account ALL the factors outlined in this topic when considering whether work is suitable for a person.

Exception: ParentsNext participants are not subject to penalties for refusing or leaving work.

Act reference: SSAct section 605 Newstart Employment Pathway Plans-requirement, section 544 Requirements relating to YA Employment Pathway Plans, section 501 PP Employment Pathway Plans, section 731L SpB Employment Pathway Plans - requirement to enter

Social Security (Unsuitable Work) Determination 2016

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.2.8.60 Unsuitable Work, 1.1.U.55 Unsuitable work (NSA, YA), 3.2.9.20 Job search - overview, 3.5.1.170 Suitable Activity - Job Search (PP Recipients & Principal Carers)

Examples of suitable work

The rest of this topic explains situations in which work may be considered suitable for the purposes of meeting a principal carer's mutual obligation requirements.

Note: These examples are NOT intended to be exhaustive.

Part-time work requirements - job search

Principal carers with mutual obligation requirements are required to seek paid work of at least 30 hours per fortnight (unless they are exempt from fully meeting mutual obligation requirements during a specified period).

Principal carers are not required to seek or accept full-time employment, or employment of more than 25 hours per week in duration, but may choose to.

Act reference: SSAct section 501B PP Employment Pathway Plans - requirement to look for work…, section 607 Newstart Employment Pathway Plans - principal carers, Section 544C YA Employment Pathway Plans - principal carers, section 731N SpB Employment Pathway Plans - principal carers

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.5.1.170 Suitable Activity - Job Search (PP Recipients & Principal Carers), 3.2.9.210 Suitable Activity - Principal Carer, 3.5.1.280 Mutual Obligation Requirements Exemption in Special Family Circumstances - Case-by-Case (PP)

Part-time work requirements - accepting offers of paid work

Principal carers who are not meeting their mutual obligation requirements through approved study, paid work and/or voluntary work of at least 15 hours per week or 30 hours per fortnight, are required to accept job offers of suitable paid work between 15 and 25 hours per week.

However, offers of suitable work within this range may not be immediately available. In the event that a job offer of suitable work amounting to less than 15 hours a week is received, the principal carer is required to accept the offer, but would be required to continue looking for additional work until they reach a total of at least 15 hours per week (3.5.1.170).

Note: Principal carers are not required to seek or accept job offers of more than 25 hours per week in duration. However, a person may choose to accept such a job offer and to work more than the 25 hours per week.

Example 1: As a principal carer subject to mutual obligation requirements, Jane is obliged to seek paid work of at least 15 hours per week. She receives an offer of 10 hours part-time employment each week in the retail industry. If, after taking into account all the other factors outlined in this topic, the job is deemed 'suitable', she is required to accept this offer. However, since she would not yet be undertaking work of at least 15 hours per week, she will be required to search for alternative or additional employment which once secured would make 15 hours a week in total.

Example 2: Natalie is required to seek paid work of at least 15 hours per week. She receives an offer of 27 hours part-time employment per week. Natalie may voluntarily accept the offer, but she cannot be compelled to accept it because it is greater than 25 hours of work per week.

Example 3: Tanya is subject to mutual obligation requirements as a principal carer and receives a job offer of 17 hours per week. If, after taking into account all the other factors outlined in this topic, the job is deemed 'suitable' she is required to accept this offer. If Tanya is subsequently offered an additional job of 7 hours per week she cannot be compelled to accept the additional work, despite the combined total amounting to less than the maximum of 25 hours per week. Tanya satisfies her mutual obligation requirements in full by undertaking at least 15 hours of paid work a week (in this case 17 hours of work a week). Tanya could be encouraged to accept the extra work but not required to do so.

Example 4: Brian is a principal carer subject to mutual obligation requirements. He receives a job offer of 23 hours per week. If, after taking into account all the other factors outlined in this topic, the job is deemed 'suitable', Brian is required to accept this offer. If, after beginning this employment Brian's hours of work reduce to 15 hours a week, Brian still meets his mutual obligation requirements in full. He can only be compelled to look for and accept additional hours of work if his hours of work fall to less than 15 hours a week. While working the 15 hours a week, Brian could, however, choose on a voluntary basis to seek additional hours offered by his employer.

Seeking suitable work

In assessing whether the work a principal carer is seeking is considered suitable, a wide range of factors should be considered, such as the individual's:

  • age,
  • mobility,
  • qualifications,
  • language proficiency (principal carers with limited language proficiency may limit their job search to areas where advanced communication skills are not essential),
  • work history, AND
  • geographical location.

In assessing whether the range of work a principal carer is seeking satisfies any job search requirement included in their EPP, it must be clear that the principal carer is seeking work in:

  • a variety of fields, e.g. not confining their job search to one specific preferred field in which they have experience or hold qualifications (unless specifically advised to by their provider), AND
  • a reasonable wage range.

Suitable/unsuitable work offers

The SSAct lists a range of circumstances that must be taken into consideration when determining if a particular offer of paid work is suitable for principal carers. Paid work is to be considered unsuitable where, in the delegate's opinion:

  • the principal carer lacks the particular skills, experience or qualifications that are needed to perform the work and no training will be provided by the employer, or
  • it has been established that there is medical evidence that the principal carer has an illness, disability or injury that would be aggravated by the conditions in which the work would be performed, or
  • the principal carer does not have access to appropriate care and supervision, for the one or more children for whom they are the principal carer, at the times when they would be required to undertake the work, or
  • performing the work in the conditions in which the work would be performed would constitute a risk to health or safety and would contravene a law of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory relating to occupational health and safety, or
  • the terms of the work are less than the legal minimum set out in the relevant statute, award or agreement, or
  • commuting between the principal carer's home and the place of work would be unreasonably difficult, or
  • the work would require enlistment in the Defence Force or the Reserves, or
  • the work requires the principal carer to move from a home in one place to a home in another place, or
  • if, for any other reason, the work is unsuitable for the principal carer.

Act reference: SSAct section 502 Secretary may impose additional participation requirements, section 541D Unsuitable paid work, section 731B Meaning of unsuitable work for the purposes of the activity test, section 601 Activity test

Social Security (Unsuitable Work) Determination 2016

Availability of child care & requirements outside school hours

Unless otherwise requested or agreed by the principal carer, mutual obligation requirements (including activities and employment services provider interviews) should be scheduled to occur during school hours (i.e. generally between 9 am and 3 pm and during school terms).

When a job offer would involve employment outside school hours or during school holidays, a job is generally considered suitable (subject to other considerations described below) if the principal carer can access appropriate care and supervision for their child/ren during the hours of work, including the time it would take the parent to travel to and from work.

For the purposes of principal carers with mutual obligation requirements, appropriate care and supervision is defined as:

  • child care provided by an approved child care service (an approved child care service within the meaning of the FAAct), OR
  • any other care or supervision arrangements that the parent deems suitable, OR
  • the child could be attending school.

When a principal carer contends that appropriate care and supervision is not available because their child/ren is/are truant (i.e. absent from school without a legitimate reason) despite being of compulsory school age, this DOES NOT mean the work is unsuitable. This is because appropriate care and supervision, in the form of school is available for the principal carer to access despite the child/ren not choosing to attend.

If a parent advises that acceptable informal child care arrangements (e.g. with family and friends) are available in cases where a job offer would involve employment outside school hours or on school holidays, then they will be required to take up the job offer. However, the decision as to whether informal child care arrangements are acceptable lies solely with the principal carer. That is, if a principal carer does not want to accept informal child care and no places provided by an approved child care service are available they cannot be made to accept the job offer.

Note: Informal care or self-care by the child/ren may be the only option for principal carers with older children who receive offers of work outside school hours. The decision as to whether these informal arrangements are acceptable lies solely with the principal carer.

An outside school hours care service would not be considered acceptable if the child is unable to be supervised going to the service from school (if after school care) or from the service to school (if before school care) and the parent considers supervision to be necessary.

Example 1: Hannah is a principal carer and has 2 sons, one aged 7 and one aged 9 years. She receives an offer of part-time employment of 20 hours per week working at a retail clothing store. On at least one day a week, Hannah would be required to work outside of normal school hours. Hannah examines child care options in her local area, and is able to find appropriate child care. In this situation, the job offer should generally be deemed 'suitable' (subject to other considerations below), and Hannah is required to accept the job offer.

Example 2: Erika recently received an offer of employment, which will involve work outside normal school hours. While her daughter's primary school has an approved outside school hours place available and on-site, Erika does not want to place her child in care. She believes that as a mother, she should be there to care for the child and does not want her placed with a child care provider. In this case, the job offer is 'suitable' (subject to other considerations below) and Erika is required to accept the job. She may organise other types of care for her daughter if she wishes.

Example 3: Ione's youngest child has recently turned 6, and she has been offered part-time employment with a regional state government agency. While no formal child care places are available in Ione's local area during the times she would be expected to work, her mother is able to provide care to the children during working hours. In this case, if Ione considers this arrangement acceptable, the job offer is 'suitable' (subject to other considerations below).

Child care arrangements change after accepting a suitable job offer

In the event that a principal carer accepts an offer of paid employment, and child care arrangements later change, or hours of work change, so that approved formal child care or acceptable informal child care is no longer available, then the employment is no longer regarded as suitable, and the principal carer may choose to leave the job without being subject to compliance action and seek alternative employment.

Example: Kim has a son, Peter, aged 7. She received an offer of part-time employment of 17 hours per week working at a supermarket, and has been able to obtain a temporary child care place for Peter at the local child care centre. This arrangement works well for the temporary placement, but after 3 months, there is no available place. Kim is able to leave this job (and resume looking for work) because the work is no longer suitable as she does not have access to appropriate care and supervision for Peter during the times she would be required to work.

Act reference: SSAct section 502 Secretary may impose additional participation requirements

Offers of work that a principal carer may have to give-up after a short period

There may be some circumstances where a principal carer is offered work and the person is able to commence the job now but will have to leave within a short period. This will typically be in situations where the person has care available and organised for their child/ren now but they are unable to organise holiday care or are unsure of the availability of holiday care or other child care.

As a general principle, if the person has access to appropriate care and supervision, then the work is suitable and the parent is required to take up the job offer. A person's access to appropriate care and supervision at a future time is not a reasonable excuse for failing to take a job in a current period.

However, principal carers may disclose and inform prospective employers and their employment services provider of their particular circumstances. This includes concerns over their ability to organise appropriate care and supervision for their children and any other relevant factors. If no offer of employment is made, or if an offer of employment is made but then retracted, following this disclosure then the person has not refused or failed to accept a suitable offer of employment. Where an employer still wishes to engage a job seeker for the fortnight or remainder of the fortnight (assuming the work is not otherwise unsuitable) then the person must accept the offer.

Example 1: Jacqueline is a principal carer with one child aged 6 years. At an interview she is offered part-time work of 20 hours a week at a local hardware shop. Jacqueline tells her prospective employer that while she can take up the job now in 2 weeks time her child will be on school holidays. As holiday care is not available in her local area she indicates that she will be unable to work when school holidays start to look after her child. The employer then retracts the offer of employment. In these circumstances, Jacqueline has not failed to accept a suitable job offer.

Example 2: Peta attends an interview for a part-time receptionist job of 18 hours a week at a local solicitor's office. At the interview Peta informs her prospective employer that while she can take up the job now she is concerned that she will not be able to get holiday care for her children in 3 weeks time. Her prospective employer indicates that despite this they will be willing to employ Peta and makes a formal offer of employment to her. In these circumstances the offer of employment is considered suitable and Peta is required to accept the job offer.

Other issues to consider when determining if a particular offer of paid work is suitable for principal carers

A range of additional circumstances may be considered when determining if a particular offer of paid work is suitable for principal carers. These circumstances include, but are not limited to:

  • whether the location of either the workplace or the children's venue makes the total travel time to work unreasonable, OR
  • whether the cost of travel to and from work is unreasonable, OR
  • whether the principal carer will be financially better off as a result of undertaking the work, OR
  • the work is unsuitable on the basis of moral, cultural, or religious grounds.

Act reference: SSAct section 502 Secretary may impose additional participation requirements, section 541D Unsuitable paid work, section 731B Meaning of unsuitable work for the purposes of the activity test, section 601 Activity test

Social Security (Unsuitable Work) Determination 2016

Travel time

An offer of work should generally not be deemed suitable for principal carers if the journey, either from the principal carer's home to the place of work or from the place of work to the person's home (including the time to travel to and from child care where relevant) would normally exceed 60 minutes in duration. However, a person may voluntarily choose to accept a job offer where the commuting exceeds 60 minutes. Conversely, in some circumstances, a journey of a lesser duration than 60 minutes may be considered excessive travel time. These circumstances could include:

  • where the hours of work are of quite limited duration, for example a 3 hour shift, or
  • where the job consists of multiple short shifts and the principal carer is required to make regular trips to their job. The total travel time over a week/fortnight to take up the job may then be considered unreasonable, or
  • where care arrangements can only be organised if a shorter travel time is undertaken.

Determination as to whether the travel time is 'reasonable' in these cases should give primary regard to what would be considered reasonable by the public. When assessing these cases, care should be taken to ensure that the situation has NOT been contrived for the purpose of avoiding accepting an offer of paid work. All methods and routes of transport, and care options should be considered.

Example 1: Fiona has a job offer for 15 hours a week located 15km away and the only available child care for her son, Jack aged 7 years, is located 2km in the other direction. Fiona does not have a car and has to rely on public transport. She would not be required to accept this offer if the time to travel to work (including the time to travel via child care) is longer than 60 minutes each way.

Example 2: Patricia has a daughter Angela, aged 6 years. She receives an offer of part-time employment of 20 hours per week working at a retail clothing store, and some of the work will be outside of normal school hours. She has been able to find available child care, but this is a distance of 15km from Angela's school, and it would take Patricia 75 minutes to take Angela to child care and to work each way. In this situation, the job offer is not suitable, and Patricia is not required to accept the job offer.

Act reference: SSAct section 502 Secretary may impose additional participation requirements, section 541D Unsuitable paid work, section 731B Meaning of unsuitable work for the purposes of the activity test, section 601 Activity test

Social Security (Unsuitable Work) Determination 2016

Reasonable cost of travel

When a principal carer receives an offer of work and the cost of travel (additional and due directly to the employment) by the person's normal and most cost effective mode of transportation to and from work after any assistance provided by their employment services provider, for example, through the Employment Fund will exceed 10% of the gross wage to be gained from that work, the cost of that travel should be considered unreasonable and the offer of work deemed unsuitable. The delegate should establish whether the person is receiving any assistance with travel.

Travel costs incurred by the principal carer of up to and including 10% of the gross wage are considered reasonable.

Note: Only direct additional travel costs are to be estimated or calculated by the delegate. This includes petrol, public transport fares such as buses, trains or trams. Taxi costs would only be used where there is no other alternative form of transport for the person. If the person has access to other forms of transport (such as trains) then taxis are not considered the most effective form of transport. Costs not to be included are parking costs and toll fees.

Example: Valerie is a principal carer of a child aged 7. She is offered a job of 2 days a week of 30 hours a fortnight (15 hours a week) beginning at 9am and finishing at 5pm. Valerie is able to organise after school care for her child at their school. The most effective mode of transport for Valerie is driving her child to school and then on to work. As Valerie must travel via the school on her way to work to drop off her child at approved care, the side trip should be included in determining the expected additional costs of travel related directly to an acceptance of the job offer. Petrol costs associated with taking the job (including that part of the trip to drop her child off and pick them up) are expected to be below 10% of her gross wage. This job is therefore suitable for Valerie on the basis of this test.

Financial suitability of a job

No principal carer is required to accept a job offer or continue in a job which fails to make them financially better off compared to not doing the job. If a principal carer is not at least $50 per fortnight better off than if they did not accept or continue in that job, then they are able to decline the job offer or leave the job.

The following items should be taken into account by employment services providers and DHS in assessing whether a job is financially suitable:

  • gross wages from the job,
  • personal income tax liabilities,
  • the drop in income support payment as a result of the earned income,
  • out of pocket child care costs incurred in order to undertake the work (after taking into account CCS, additional child care subsidy (ACCS) (transition to work) and/or other subsidies, or assistance such as through the Employment Fund), and
  • travel costs to and from work (after taking into account any assistance that may be provided by the Employment Fund and noting the reasonable costs of travel test described above), and
  • any increase in public housing rent as a result of the person's increased income from employment (ONLY if the parent is living in state government subsidised or provided public housing and either on PP, NSA, YA (job seeker) or SpB).

If, after taking these factors into account, the principal carer was not at least $50 per fortnight better off than if they did not accept or continue in that job, then no compliance action can be taken if the person declines the job offer or leaves the job.

Note: In many instances public housing rent will only actually increase some months after a parent begins part-time work. However, in Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia increases in public housing rent may occur from the day from which the parent begins earning additional income. In these states, the delegate should factor in 25% of the difference between the maximum rate of the principal carers income support payment and their combined total of the part-rate of payment and their gross fortnightly earnings. This should be used as the indicative amount by which their public housing rent will increase within the next complete fortnight. For principal carers in all other states and territories, increases in public housing rents are only to be taken into account in any particular application of this test if the principal carer can provide documentation that their rent will increase within the next complete fortnight (or if the rent has already increased on or before the date of the test due to the paid part-time work). If a rent increase is to take effect after the next complete fortnight then no increase can be taken into account within the public housing component of the financial suitability test as applied at that point in time.

Principal carers should be advised that if they are concerned about the financial suitability of the job after a change in circumstance (including changes in the amount of public housing rent) they may return to DHS to have their job assessed under this test again. If the job fails the financial suitability test then the job is no longer suitable and the person may leave the job without penalty. Principal carers will need to be advised by the delegate that they will need to provide evidence for the change.

Note: It is up to the principal carer to return to DHS and ask for the test to be re-applied if their circumstances change.

Example: Adana is in receipt of PPS and is offered a job of 20 hours a week. Her fortnightly travel costs are less than 10% of her gross fortnightly wage. She can receive assistance for child care through CCS. Also taking into account the impact of the offered work on her rate of PPS, her public housing rent and personal income tax liabilities, Adana is assessed as $100 a fortnight better off than if she did not accept the job. From a financial viability point of view, the job is suitable and Adana would be required to accept the job.

Costs outside the scope of this financial suitability of the job test include:

  • any changes to FTB (Parts A and B) due to the employment income (including where RA is paid through FTB),
  • changes to any other State Government subsidies or forms of financial assistance due to the employment income,
  • the eventual loss of concession cards after any relevant periods of continuation or extension, if the employment income is above the amount required to take the principal carer fully off income support, and
  • ACCS (child wellbeing), ACCS (grandparent), ACCS (temporary financial hardship).

Note: Other miscellaneous costs of accepting a job offer of suitable part-time work (such as buying appropriate clothes, a uniform or other job related equipment) will not be included in this determination. Principal carers may be able to access assistance provided by the employment services provider, such as through the Employment Fund.

Exception: If a principal carer also has a partial capacity to work due to a disability (as assessed by an ESAt/JCA) and they have costs in moving into employment not otherwise offset by other assistance (e.g. through the Workplace-Modifications Scheme) then these costs should also be factored into calculating financial suitability of a job (i.e. they must be at least $50 a fortnight better off once these additional costs are also factored in).

In some limited circumstances the next complete fortnight might not be the most appropriate period for assessing whether the job is financially suitable. This could include instances where a principal carer is taking up a job that involves work that has variable hours/shifts that are known beforehand and which would affect earned income significantly. For example, they may be working shift work and this might mean the person will have significantly higher earned income one fortnight compared to the next. In these instances, the delegate is able to consider a longer period and use this period to consider whether the person is financially better off over the month (rather than the next complete fortnight). The use of this approach should be the exception rather than the rule.

Inability to accept an offer of suitable work because child care has not been organised

The obligation for principal carers to organise appropriate care and supervision for their child/ren in order to accept an offer of suitable work will be included as an activity in person's EPP. If a principal carer has not organised appropriate care and supervision of their child/ren despite the availability of approved child care places during the times they would be required to work, and as a result they cannot accept a job offer for work that is otherwise suitable, then their failure to accept the job offer may result in a financial penalty.

If, after accepting an offer of suitable work during a school term, the principal carer fails to organise access to available and affordable formal child care places (despite being able to), such as vacation care places or arrange other forms of appropriate care and supervision during the times they would be at work and therefore are unable to continue working, then this would not be considered as unsuitable work.

Work offers to parents in school holidays

Suitable work for principal carers applies when appropriate care and supervision of the child/ren is available during the hours the job seeker would be required for work. This applies in normal school hours. However, during school holidays it is dependent on the availability of suitable child care.

Example: Ramona is a single parent and has a daughter Janeth age 7. Ramona is offered a job in her local supermarket for regular work from 9am to 12pm each week day (including during school holidays). This is suitable work for Ramona, and she would be required to accept the job offer and investigate the availability of suitable child care during the school holidays. If either suitable child care or acceptable informal care arrangements are available in the school holidays the job offer is a suitable job.

Remuneration & hours of work

When a principal carer is already working, but for less than 15 hours a week and therefore still has job search requirements, a job offer should be accepted if the total pay as well as the total hours from the employment is higher than the existing job. If the person is not able to take up both jobs (e.g. because the hours of work overlap) the person would not have to give up their existing job to accept a job offer if the total earnings from the new job are less than the total earnings from the existing job. However if the rate of pay of the new job (e.g. hourly rate) is lower than the existing job's rate of pay, but the increase in hours will mean that a person has greater income overall, they are still required to accept the job.

Explanation: A person should not be financially disadvantaged through accepting a job offer, if it will force them to give up another, higher-paying (in terms of total pay) job.

Example 1: Jennifer currently has employment of 12 hours per week tutoring students. She is also offered 20 hours per week employment at a retail store. Jennifer could give up her current employment to accept the retail job, and this would enable her to satisfy her job search and participation requirements. Suitable formal child care is available to support this change. However, Jennifer would earn less from the retail job than she would from the tutoring position. In this case, the retail job offer is not suitable as Jennifer would be financially disadvantaged through accepting the offer. However, since she is not yet undertaking work of at least 15 hours per week, Jennifer will still be required to search for alternative or additional employment to make up the deficit.

Example 2: Mikki has employment of 13 hours per week at her local supermarket. She has recently received another job offer at another store, for a higher rate of pay and for 15 hours a week. Mikki would be required to accept the new job offer at the other store because it is for 15 hours with higher total pay.

Example 3: Melih is working 12 hours a week as a truck driver. He is offered another job of 16 hours a week as a storeman. Melih's current job as a truck driver pays better than the stores work so even though the stores work is more hours he still is $20 a week better off in his current job. As he would be financially worse off if he accepted the storeman job it is not considered suitable work. However, since Melih is not yet undertaking work of at least 15 hours per week, he will still be required to search for alternative or additional employment to make up the deficit.

Note: If a job satisfies the principal carer's mutual obligation requirements in full and a second job does not, they may choose to leave the first job and accept the second only if the second job pays more. However, the principal carer will need to undertake, at minimum, a job search component in addition to the second job in this scenario in order to satisfy their mutual obligation requirements.

Suitable work conflicts with training &/or study

While principal carers, like all job seekers, are required to accept suitable work to the level of their capacity, those who are undertaking approved education or training (even if it is for less than 30 hours per fortnight), are not required to accept offers of employment, if the hours of work conflict with the hours of study so long as the education or training is included in their EPP. Principal carers undertaking approved study, of less than 30 hours per fortnight, are required to accept suitable offers of employment where the hours of work would fit around their study schedule.

Principal carers who are fully meeting requirements through approved study or training of at least 30 hours per fortnight, and who have the activity included in their EPP, are not required to look for or accept offers of employment however they may do so voluntarily.

Example: Sarah is undertaking a child care worker course as an approved activity in her EPP. She is offered paid work 2 full days per week. Although the job is otherwise suitable, Sarah has a reasonable excuse for not accepting this job as it will interfere with her capacity to complete her training.

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.2.9.100 Suitable Activity - Study & Training, 3.5.1.180 Suitable activity - study (PP),

Any other matters that the Secretary considers relevant in the circumstances

Without being prescriptive, additional issues not directly addressed above may be considered in determining whether work is 'suitable' (including financially suitable) where there are exceptional circumstances (e.g. beyond the range of what could be considered usual) or special hardship cases. Before making a determination, the customer service adviser (CSA) should seek advice from NSO, who will consult with the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business.

Last reviewed: 2 July 2018