The Latest on Mutual Obligations

Between coming in and out of lockdowns and the implementation of COVID-safe procedures, you may be feeling a little lost when it comes to your mutual obligations.

From 9 March 2021, face-to-face servicing recommenced. This means we can ask you attend appointments in person, subject to local health advice and state and territory COVID-19 requirements. All our sites have COVID-19 safe plans in place to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all our people and customers.

Download: Participant – return to face to face servicing factsheet 


Advice for when your mutual obligations are temporarily suspended

Changes may be made to your requirements if you need to go into lockdown because of COVID-19, to ensure you can still comply with your state government’s orders.


Mutual obligation requirements

During this time if you don’t meet your mutual obligation requirements that are due during the temporary suspension period:

  • your payment will not go on hold
  • you will not get any financial penalties
  • you will not get any demerits.

Participants in affected areas do not need to attend face-to-face appointments during lockdown, but should continue to check when their requirements are due or scheduled to occur after the suspension of mutual obligation requirements ends, including Job Search Requirements.

If you are affected, we will tell you. You will get an SMS or inbox message from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, who also make regular updates on the jobactive Facebook page.

If you don’t hear from us or you are not sure, please ask.

AimBig are here to support you. Stay in touch. We can connect you with a range of assistance, including mental health services, if you need it.


Job search and Points Period

If your job search or points are due during the temporary suspension period, your dashboard will update to show it is no longer required.

However, if your job search or points are due after the temporary suspension period ends, you will still need to meet the requirement shown on your dashboard.

Actively looking for work remains a fundamental requirement when you are on income support. Applying for all suitable jobs (in line with local health advice) even when your mutual obligation requirements are temporarily suspended will support you to move into employment quickly.

Always check your dashboard to understand what your mutual obligation requirements are and when they are due.


Appointments and activities

Although you wont be required to go to appointments or attend activities during the temporary suspension period, we recommend you stay connected. We are equipped to offer appointments by phone or online.

We may also have opportunities for you to participate in study or training to assist you to move towards employment, in line with local health advice.


Stay in touch

Remember, if you have a good reason for not being able to meet your requirements at any time, please contact your Job Coach or our Customer Service Line on 1300 034 994.


Current locations with suspension of mutual obligation requirements

Refer to –


What are mutual obligations?

Mutual obligation requirements are tasks and activities you agree to do, to help you find a job. If you get a payment from Centrelink, it is likely you will have mutual obligation requirements.

These responsibilities are set out in your Job Plan and may include one or more of the following:

  • accept a job if you’re offered one
  • attend job interviews if you’re offered or referred to one
  • apply for a set number of jobs each month, as shown on your dashboard
  • report a set number of points, as shown on your dashboard
  • go to appointments with, or organised by us
  • attend activities or training, where it is safe to do so.


Your compliance status

If you were getting a payment before COVID-19, you should sign in and check your Participation history. It will tell you if you have any demerits.

Remember, the more demerits you have, the more likely you are to lose your payment.


Updates to Job Search

Job search requirements for many participants increased from 1 July 2021.

For most participants, the number of applications you need to report each monthly reporting period will rise to 20.

If you have negotiated your job search effort requirement, speak with your Job Coach to let them know how this change might affect you.

Please note: your job search requirements are flexible and can be changed. You can discuss your personal circumstances and any challenges you may have in meeting your requirements.


Make sure your job applications are good quality

AimBig pay attention to the quality of your job applications. This means they will be checked to make sure you:

  • are applying for jobs you have a genuine chance to get
  • use a variety of ways to search and apply for jobs
  • apply for jobs across a range of seniority and pay ranges
  • do not deliberately submit disingenuous, poor-quality or blank applications

You could get a demerit and your payment could go on hold if you do bad quality job applications.

Watch: What Is Job Search Effort Quality?



Centrelink may give you an exemption from mutual obligation requirements in certain circumstances. If you have an exemption you have no compulsory requirements, but you still need to report your income to Centrelink.





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