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. Capability interviews & capability assessments

Capability interviews & capability assessments

Once a job seeker accrues 3 demerits within 6 months, the delegate (either the employment services provider or the digital services contact centre, as appropriate) will conduct a capability interview to assess the appropriateness of the job seeker's requirements for their individual circumstances. If their requirements do need to be adjusted, the job seekers' demerits will be reset to zero, and they will return to the Green Zone.

If the job seeker's requirements are appropriate for their circumstances, and the job seeker subsequently commits 2 mutual obligation failures resulting in a total of 5 demerits within 6 months, Services Australia will conduct a capability assessment. If the job seeker is found to have undisclosed issues affecting their capability to meet their current requirements, or if the requirements are otherwise inappropriate for the job seeker, they will return to the Green Zone with their demerits reset to zero. Delegates will be required to adjust the job seeker's Job Plan/requirements to take into consideration new information about the job seeker's circumstances. If the job seeker's requirements are found to be appropriate for their circumstances, the job seeker will enter the Penalty Zone.

Requirements are considered inappropriate for the job seeker when they are inconsistent with legislative restrictions or policy, or are unachievable by the job seeker given their circumstances (3.11.2). This includes, but is not limited to:

  • where the total hours of participation in compulsory activities in the Job Plan are excessive
  • the distance a job seeker would have had to travel to meet the requirement is excessive
  • a requirement is not compatible with the job seeker's caring responsibilities
  • requirements cannot be met due to a physical incapacity of the job seeker, or
  • personal circumstances such as homelessness, mental health issues or having recently been subject to domestic violence have not been taken into account.

At either the capability interview or capability assessment, the JSCI may be rerun for the job seeker or they may be referred for an ESAt, as appropriate. An outcome of these assessments is that the job seeker's assessed capacity to work, or requirements may be altered, or job seekers may be referred to more appropriate support (such as Workforce Australia Provider Services).

Interviews/assessments for failure to attend a job interview, failure to act on a job opportunity or act in a manner such that an offer of employment would not be offered to them

Job seekers who fail to attend a job interview, fail to act on a job opportunity or act in a manner such that an offer of employment would not be made to them may enter the Penalty Zone more quickly, recognising the seriousness of these failures. If a job seeker commits one of these failures, they will be referred to a capability interview (if they have previously accumulated fewer than 3 demerits) or a capability assessment (if they have previously undertaken a capability interview). Where the person is already in the Penalty Zone, these failures would be treated the same as any other mutual obligation failure.

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