Self-employment (including through Workforce Australia - Self-Employment Assistance)


The conditions for satisfying the sufficient work test also apply to self-employment ( Self-employment will satisfy the sufficient work test if the job seeker is working at least their required number of hours and the taxable income of the business provides the equivalent of the national minimum wage rate for the minimum required hours. If self-employment does not satisfy the sufficient work test, the person will generally be required to look for alternative work and/or undertake additional requirements to meet their mutual obligation requirements. If their commitment to their business activities interferes with required job search or other activities, the person will usually not be considered to be unemployed under social security law and will not satisfy their mutual obligation requirements.

Principal carer parents, those with an assessed partial capacity to work, and job seekers aged 55 and over are able to fully meet their mutual obligation requirements (3.11.6) if they undertake at least 30 hours per fortnight of self-employment, where the income earned from self-employment is equivalent to or above 30 hours work at the minimum wage.

Self-Employment Assistance

Self-Employment Assistance (also known as NEIS) assists eligible people to start and run viable small businesses. To be eligible for Self-Employment Assistance, a person must:

  • be at least 15 years of age
  • not already be working and/or studying for more than 25 hours per week
  • not be prohibited by law from working in Australia
  • not be an overseas visitor on a working holiday visa or an overseas student studying in Australia
  • not be an undischarged bankrupt.

Those participating in certain components of the program, such as Small Business Training and Small Business Coaching are not required to look for work.

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