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1.3 million Aussies need to understand this term by Tuesday

People queue up outside a Centrelink office in Melbourne on April 20, 2020, which delivers a range of government payments and services for retirees, the unemployed, families, carers and parents amongst others. - A report from the Grattan Institute predicts between 14 and 26 per cent of Australian workers could be out of work as a direct result of the coronavirus shutdown, and the crisis will have an enduring impact on jobs and the economy for years to come. (Photo by William WEST / AFP) (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)
Around 1.3 million Australians receive JobSeeker. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)

Australians receiving JobSeeker payments will be required to undertake mutual obligations from Tuesday 9 June.

Mutual obligations are a set of tasks and expectations required of JobSeeker recipients in order for them to receive their welfare payments, and can include attending interviews with service providers, applying for jobs, devising a JobPlan and volunteering.

Minister for Social Services Anne Ruston confirmed mutual obligations will return from 9 June after being paused during the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing a tidal wave of Australians joining unemployment queues.

I’ve never been on JobSeeker before: What do I do from Tuesday 9 June?

The first phase of mutual obligations will kick back in from Tuesday.

Ruston said mutual obligations will come back gradually, and as such failure to complete these requirements will not be met with any penalties.

“Job seekers are encouraged to remain engaged and connected with their providers during the suspension of mutual obligation requirements,” a Department of Education, Skills and Employment spokesperson told Yahoo Finance.

“Their providers can offer assistance and referral to jobs, support services, and advice on skills and training options.

“As businesses across Australia reopen or begin to operate at full capacity, new job opportunities will become available. The return of mutual obligations will enable jobactive providers to connect job seekers to employers and ensure job seekers are aware of opportunities available for training, upskilling or employment.”
SEEK recorded a 49.2 per cent increase in job ads for the week ending 31 May, the third week in a row of an uplift in job ads. However, there’s still ground to be made up after ads plummeted 65.6 per cent year on year for April.

Under the first phase, JobSeeker recipients will need to need to have at least one appointment with their employment services provider either online or over the phone.

In the initial jobactive appointment, your service provider will explain their role and the services you will receive. You will also learn what you need to do and your provider will prepare a Job Plan with you. Your provider will contact you, or you can contact them. You can see this in your job seeker account.

Jobactive tells recipients they should bring at least one form of photo identification or two forms of identification with your name and address, and items like your resume.

The goal of this phase is to get Australians back in touch with the workforce and their employment service providers as it slowly comes back to life, Ruston said.

Self-employed workers and sole traders aren’t required to fulfil this obligation.

And during this period, there will be no minimum number of job applications required for JobSeeker recipients.

What happens next?

The next two phases will be detailed in the weeks to come.

But this is what we know about mutual obligations requirements so far.

Phase two of mutual obligations will include applying for work. Phase three will see penalties for failure to uphold mutual obligations return.

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