Targeted Compliance Framework: Mutual Obligation Failures Guideline

The Targeted Compliance Framework (TCF) is designed to target financial penalties towards only those Participants who persistently commit Mutual Obligation Failures without a Valid Reason or Reasonable Excuse, while providing protections for the most vulnerable. It is designed to encourage Participants to engage with their employment services provider (Provider), take personal responsibility for managing and meeting their Mutual Obligation Requirements, and actively look for work.

Participants commit Mutual Obligation Failures when they fail to comply with any one of a range of particular requirements specified in the Social Security Law. Broadly speaking, these requirements include, among other things: 

  • entering into a Job Plan;
  • attending appointments, and participating in activities; 
  • acting appropriately during those appointments and while participating in those activities;
  • undertaking adequate Job Searches, where required by their Job Plan;
  • attending job interviews; and 
  • acting on job opportunities when requested to do so by their Provider. 

If a Participant persistently commits Mutual Obligation Failures, they progress through the compliance framework. The Participant may eventually incur financial penalties after they:

  • have participated in a Capability Interview with their Provider, and a Capability Assessment with Services Australia, to ensure that the Mutual Obligation Requirements specified in their Job Plan are appropriate for their personal circumstances and that they are capable of meeting them; and 
  • have continued to commit Mutual Obligation Failures. 

That Participant may also face financial penalties if, at any time, they commit a Work Refusal Failure or an Unemployment Failure. See the Work Refusal Failures and Unemployment Failures Guideline for more information.

Last modified on Tuesday 17 December 2019 [45441|165468]