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 intended only as a guide to social security payments. 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.

3.2.4.140 Community service/justice order exemption for under 18s

Circumstances of exemption

This exemption may be given to young people who could not reasonably be expected to participate in full-time education or training due to community service type restrictions on their time. This would be the case when the young person is:

  • required to perform more than 10 hours per week of community service
  • required to participate in a specified supervisory program for young offenders, or
  • subject to other imposed conditions which make it unreasonable for them to undertake full-time education or training.

Example: Transition or parole-type arrangements.

Early school leavers

Early school leavers (1.1.E.05) who, because of a community service or juvenile justice order, are unable to study or undertake training full-time are still expected to undertake education or training or other activities appropriate to their capacity. Activities may include participation in part-time education or training or other approved activities, such as counselling or mediation.

Act reference: SSAct section 540 Qualification for YA - general rule

Policy reference: SS Guide 1.1.M.160 Mutual obligation requirements, 3.11.9 Mutual obligation requirements for early school leavers

Duration of exemption

The young person can be given an exemption for up to 13 weeks, although this can be extended subject to regular review after the 13 weeks.

Mutual obligation requirements (1.1.M.160)

The full-time study exemption does not necessarily exempt the young person from their requirements. Delegates have discretion to determine whether a young person will still have mutual obligation requirements. In some cases, it may be reasonable to investigate if the community service order or justice order can be varied to allow participation in part-time study or training, in addition to meeting the requirements of the order.

Act reference: SSAct section 542 Situation in which a person is exempt from undertaking full-time study, section 542H Special circumstances exemption, section 543A(2A)(n) … is the subject of a community service or juvenile justice order …, section 543A(2B) If the following circumstances exist in relation to the person in respect of a period …

SS(Admin)Act section 40L – Circumstances making it unreasonable etc. to comply with requirements

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