Media Release by Senator the Hon Anne Ruston

Suspension of mutual obligation requirements for regional New South Wales

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Stuart Robert MP
    Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business


    The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP
    Minister for Indigenous Australians

The Morrison Government has suspended mutual obligation requirements for job seekers and participants in regional New South Wales after the announcement of a seven-day COVID-19 lockdown.

The temporary suspension of mutual obligation requirements will be in place from tomorrow, Sunday 15 August 2021 until Tuesday 31 August 2021 inclusive.  This timeframe aligns with the suspension of mutual obligation requirements in place for Greater Sydney.

These arrangements will apply to job seekers in jobactive, Online Employment Services, Disability Employment Services, and participants in ParentsNext and the Community Development Program who live or are serviced in these areas.

Job seekers and participants in these areas will not face payment suspensions or financial penalties for failing to meet their mutual obligation requirements that are due, or are arranged to occur, during the temporary suspension period.

Job seekers and participants in these areas are encouraged to stay connected to employment services to ensure they are supported to access the full range of assistance, including mental health services if required. Job seekers and participants should continue to check when their mutual obligation requirements are due after the temporary suspensions end.

Special Circumstances Exemptions continue to be available through Services Australia for job seekers and participants who require them. The Government will continue to closely monitor the situation in New South Wales, and other jurisdictions affected by COVID-19 restrictions.

More information about mutual obligation requirements can be found at: