D. Introduction of a preparing for work agreement for new claimants of unemployment payments
1 July 2000
All new claimants of Newstart Allowance and Youth Allowance who have an activity test requirement, will have to enter into a Preparing for Work Agreement.
The Agreement will deliver a strong, up-front message to all job seekers that they must meet their obligation to actively job search and participate in a range of additional activities in return for receiving unemployment payments. This Agreement will ensure that customers are aware of their rights and obligations from grant of payment and will streamline unemployment processes.
The Agreement will set out early intervention strategies for the job seeker and their ongoing responsibilities for eligibility to Newstart or Youth Allowance. Those claimants who are exempt from the activity test at grant of payment will not be required to enter into an agreement until their exemption ceases (around 7% of claimants).
The Preparing for Work Agreement is an important part of the Government's mutual obligation strategy. Mutual obligation is based on the proposition that unemployed people supported financially by the community should actively seek work, constantly strive to improve their competitiveness in the labour market and give something back to the community that supports them.
The Preparing for Work Agreement is an enhancement to Centrelink's Preparing for Work initiative, which ensures that each contact with a job seeker is focussed on finding work more quickly. The Preparing for Work Agreement will replace Preparing for Work plans which are currently given to job seekers at chosen contact points.
This Agreement is an activity agreement under the Social Security Act 1991. It will not require legislative change.