Mutual obligation Snapshot – Mutual obligations in climate emergencies and the pandemic

This briefing explains how rules relating to mutual obligations change during climate disasters and the COVID pandemic.

When communities are affected by extreme weather events, natural disasters and pandemics such as COVID-19, the federal Government suspends mutual obligation requirements for a period of time. These mutual obligation suspensions are listed on the jobsearch.gov.au/mor webpage.

Mutual obligation suspensions usually mean that penalties for not completing mutual obligation requirements under the Targeted Compliance Framework do not apply. However, it is always important to check what requirements apply to you on the job seeker dashboard, or by checking with your provider, the Digital/National Customer Service Line on 1800 805 260.

When Mutual Obligation suspensions are lifted, regular job search and other mutual obligation requirements return.

If you are unable to attend an appointment, activity or meet a job search target, please contact your provider before the date it is due. Providers should be exercising COVID-safe practices and taking into account your situation and labour market conditions when setting requirements for you.

In particular, you should be able to practice COVID safety precautions such as attending COVID testing and self-isolating as required. However, it is important that you contact your provider if you are unable to attend or meet a requirement because of the impact of observing COVID safety pre-cautions before it is due.

There are complex rules in every state depending on the Health Orders that employment services providers should be following in relation to the provision of face-to-face services. If you are unable to meet employment services requirements due to your vaccination status you may be eligible to apply for a medication exemption. Please read this fact sheet for more information. Job Seeker Participant – return to face to face servicing factsheet

Please let [email protected] know if you encounter any issues in this regard.

For updates, check this Government webpage: https://jobsearch.gov.au/mor

Related information

ACOSS advocacy on mutual obligations