The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

1.1.G.25 Gainful work (work bonus)


For the purposes of the work bonus, gainful work is work for financial gain or reward (other than as an employee), where the work involves personal exertion on the part of the person concerned. The work bonus was extended to include self-employment income from gainful work, as well as employment income, from 1 July 2019.

Examples of gainful work include operating a business as a plumber, farmer, wedding celebrant or artist. It includes where the business is operated as a sole trader, partnership, private trust or company, or another business structure.

Gainful work income does not include:

  • managing or administering financial investments and real property, such as an investment property owned by the person or their family, including a family company, family group or family trust
  • work involving domestic, household, gardening or similar tasks at the person's place of residence.

Act reference: SSAct section 1073AAA Meaning of gainful work

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