The New Targeted Compliance Framework - from July 1st, 2018
The following information has been adapted from a presentation on the new compliance framework provided by the Australian Government.
What will change from July 1st 2018?
The new Framework will:
Focus resources and financial penalties on job seekers who persistently and wilfully do not comply
Provide protection and reinforced safety net for vulnerable job seekers with:
Increased focus on whether requirements are appropriate for each individual job seeker
Additional opportunities for job seekers to discuss their circumstances and to ensure their Job Plans are individually appropriate
Focus on personal responsibility and on encouraging job seekers to develop work-like behaviours
Have clearer Mutual Obligation Requirements and more transparent expectations of job seekers
The reason for change:
The current compliance framework is difficult to understand, and it is difficult to administer. Most job seekers do the right thing, however the is a recognized need for real penalties for those job seekers who are willfully non-compliant or genuinely not looking for work.
In the new Targeted Compliance Framework, there is to be more protection for vulnerable job seekers who may need help to meet their requirements.
What this means for you:
Providers and Job Seekers will share a calendar that can be accessed from the Job Seeker App and the jobactive website dashboard. Your Y.E.S support officer will record your requirements in the calendar and job seekers can access this at any time and better understand what they need to do to meet their requirements.
Job Seekers will have more control with this new Framework by recording their own attendance at requirements; and creating personal events in the shared calendar when you have a prior commitment.
The new Framework will better allow participants to know where they stand – it will be easier to see whether they are meeting all their requirements, and their status will be always clearly explained so they know if there is anything they need to do.
The new Demerit System:
If you don’t meet your requirements, you will accrue Demerit Points – similar to points on a driver’s licence. If a job seeker keeps accumulating demerits by failing to meet obligations, they may incur financial penalties or lose their payments from Centrelink altogether. As long as you keep meeting your Job Plan requirements, there won’t be any effect on your Centrelink payments.
If Job Seekers cannot attend a requirement (Y.E.S appointment, third party appointments, etc.) they need to let their Y.E.S support person know beforehand. If you have a good reason you cannot fulfil your obligation, this needs to be discussed with your Y.E.S contact person. If you do not let us know or do not have a good enough reason, you will receive a Demerit Point.
The new compliance Zones:
The Green Zone
All participants start in the Green Zone, and as long as job seekers are meeting their requirements and follow their Job Plan, they will stay in this zone.
To do this:
Attend all appointments, activities and job interviews
Submit job searches on time
Agree to updates on the job plan
Stay in contact with your Y.E.S contact person and keep them informed
The only way to leave the Green Zone is if you don’t meet your requirements.
The Warning Zone
If you do not meet your requirements, your payment will be suspended and you will need to discuss with your Y.E.S contact person your reason why. If you do not have a good reason for not meeting your requirements, you will receive a Demerit Point and enter the Warning Zone.
Your Y.E.S contact person will arrange a Re-Engagement Requirement and once that is met, the payment suspension will be lifted. There will not be any loss of money.
Each Demerit Point only lasts for 6 months before they expire.
The Warning Zone has a few chances to change your behaviour and get back into the Green Zone without incurring any financial penalties:
Job seekers who accrue 3 Demerits in a 6 month period will be required to have a Capability Interview with Your Employment Success. This interview is to ensure the requirements are appropriate for each job seeker; reinforce with the job seeker what they are expected to do in exchange for financial benefits as well as the consequences of not doing so; and explore any assistance that may be required for the job seeker.
Job seekers who continue to be non-compliant and accrue a further 2 Demerits (total of 5 Demerits within a 6 month period) will need to have a Capability Assessment with DHS (Centrelink). This assessment is similar to a Capability Interview, and is to assess whether the job seeker is able to comply with their requirements. If the job seeker is found not capable to meet the requirements set out in their job plan, the job plan will be updated and they will move back to the Green Zone. If the job seeker is found to be capable of meeting requirements, they will move into the Penalty Zone.
The Penalty Zone
A job seeker in the Penalty Zone has demonstrated that they have willfully and persistently not met their requirements. In this zone there are financial penalties in place to discourage non-compliance. Income support will be reduced or cancelled.
If a job seeker continues to not meet requirements, the first failure in this zone will lose them 50% of their fortnightly income support payment.
2. The next time they fail to meet a requirement without a reasonable excuse, they will lose
100% of their fortnightly payment.
3. The third time in three months that a job seeker fails to meet a requirement without a
reasonable excuse, they will have their payment cancelled for four weeks and will not be able
to re-apply to receive payments for this 4 week period.
When job seekers re-apply after the preclusion period and return to their provider, they will return to the beginning of the Penalty Zone. To get out of this zone, job seekers need to meet all their requirements for three months. After three months of fulfilling all obligations, job seekers will go back to the Green Zone.
You can be fast-tracked to having your income support payment cancelled for four weeks in any zone if:
You refuse to accept or start suitable employment without a reasonable excuse
You leave a suitable job without a reasonable excuse
You are dismissed for misconduct (bad behaviour)
Job seekers will need to re-apply and wait for four weeks to receive payment again.
There are no longer any waivers in the new Framework. You will need to wait out the four weeks and the re-apply for income support.
Employment Providers no longer have any discretion – this means in the new policy, we cannot decide whether or not you receive a Demerit. If the reason is not good enough, Demerit Points will automatically be applied.
Most importantly - We are here to help you!
As your Employment Provider, we are here to support you and help you succeed as much as we can.
Let us know if something is wrong:
If your circumstances change
If you don’t understand something
If you’re having difficulty meeting your obligations
If there is anything else we need to know
There will be checks along the way to make sure job seekers are still capable of doing things they have been asked to do. If something is stopping you from doing these things outlined in your Job Plan, you can discuss it with your Y.E.S contact to ensure your requirements are appropriate for you and that you can meet them.