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.S.403 Sufficient work test


The sufficient work test is a guideline to assist delegates in deciding whether work that is being undertaken, or that is proposed to be undertaken:

  • satisfies, or can count toward satisfying, mutual obligation requirements, and
  • is able to be disregarded under SSAct section 595, so that the person may still be regarded as unemployed.

The test involves establishing whether the combination of hours worked and remuneration paid is appropriate for the circumstances of the individual case.

The remuneration test compares the amount earned against whichever of the following is applicable:

  • for people in occupations covered by an award which provides a rate of pay which is LOWER than the National Minimum Wage, the applicable hourly award rate, OR
  • where junior or trainee rates apply, and these are lower than the National Minimum Wage, the applicable hourly rate, OR
  • in other cases, the hourly rate of the National Minimum Wage as set by the Fair Work Commission.

Note: For Ministers of Religion who are either a principal carer parent or a person with a partial work capacity due to a disability, the amount of remuneration received does not have to be at the National Minimum Wage.

Act reference: SSAct section 595 Persons may be treated as unemployed

Policy reference: SS Guide Employment

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