NOTE REGARDING ACTIVITIES & APPOINTMENTS

From 28 September 2020, a further phase in the return of mutual obligation requirements will be introduced. Job seekers with employment service providers will be required to participate in appointments, agree to their Job Plan, undertake eight job searches a month, attend agreed activities (where it is safe to do so), and accept any offer of suitable work. Work for the Dole will resume where activities are available, it is safe to participate and all health and safety requirements are met.

Employment service providers in Victoria have been instructed to take all local Health advice, including all lockdown measures, into consideration when making any arrangements for jobseekers.

Job seekers will now have the option to opt in for face-to-face servicing, in addition to the alternative servicing methods (over the phone, online, by video conferencing) currently available. The option to opt in for face-to-face servicing is designed to provide job seekers and providers with the flexibility to adapt servicing to the job seeker’s personal circumstances and preference.

Please see https://jobsearch.gov.au/compliance for information on the job seeker compliance system.

Special circumstances exemptions will continue to be available from Services Australia for job seekers who require them, including those directly affected by COVID-19.

All job seekers are encouraged to maintain contact with their employment services provider or log onto their jobactive dashboard regularly, to ensure they are aware of opportunities available for training, upskilling or employment.

For more information: https://www.dese.gov.au/covid-19/job-seekers

If you need to discuss your obligations, please phone :

  • Newstart Allowance, JobSeeker Payment and Special Benefit recipients can call 132 850.
  • Youth Allowance recipients can call 132 490.
  • Parenting Payment recipients with mutual obligation requirements can call 136 150.

For live updates visit either of the sites below.

DISABILITY INFORMATION

Do you have a disability? Have things changed for you because of coronavirus (COVID-19)? Do you need support in a language other than English? Help is available.

Call the Disability Information Helpline on 1800 643 787 and ask for an interpreter, or call Translating and Interpreting Services on 131 450 and ask for the Disability Information Helpline on 1800 643 787. Information about the Disability Information Helpline is also available in 63 languages. Visit www.dss.gov.au/disabilityhelp for more details.

INFORMATION ABOUT COVID-19 AND HOW TO MANAGE DURING THIS TIME

What is self-isolation?

Self-isolation is when a person self-quarantines themselves at home and does not attend work, school or public places.

COVID-19 requires a self-isolation period of 14 days.

People in self-isolation should:

  • not go to public places such as work, school, shopping centres, childcare or university
  • ask someone to get food and other necessities for you and leave them at your front door
  • not let visitors in — only people who usually live with you should be in your home
  • not need to wear a mask in your home, but do wear one if you have to go out (for example to seek medical attention)
  • stay in touch by phone and online with your family and friends

Further information on self-isolation can be found on the Department of Health website below.

FEELING ANXIOUS?

ACCESSING ALLIED HEALTH SERVICES

Most people find unemployment to be a really difficult time. Your mental health is important, particularly during the current COVID-19 pandemic. If you would like support with your mental health, or just need someone to talk to, you can speak with our Allied Health team.

What is telehealth?

Telehealth connects people during times of isolation, making access to mental health support easier.

Telehealth counselling is a counselling session where you and your Allied Health team member are not in the same room as each other and use technology, like a phone or video conference to see and hear one another.

How does it work?

You can contact our National Service Centre on 136 123. They will help you make an appointment for a telephone appointment at a time that suits you, and then one of Allied Health professionals will give you a call at an agreed time. You will need to find a private and quiet space where you won’t be interrupted (or request those you live with not to disturb you). All consultations done via telehealth are secure and will not be recorded.

Within each session, your health professional typically invites you to share what’s been going on in your life, what’s bothering you, and any goals you’d like to discuss, including employment. You won’t be criticised, interrupted or judged as you talk.

How long does it last?

Telehealth sessions are usually 50-60 minutes in length. How many times you use the service is up to you and will depend on your situation.

How much does it cost?

This service is funded for participants engaged with Employment Plus.

Employment Plus Allied Health Services is not a crisis service and you will not be able to contact your health professional outside of normal business hours. Your health professional will help you develop a plan of what supports you have in place for between sessions, and if you do find yourself in crisis you should call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Additional resources for anxiety during this time:

Beyond Blue has information about how to care for your mental health and the people around you during the Coronavirus. Their website also includes resources for further information and help.

Smiling Mind has a COVID-19 support page with helpful information on their website about how to calm yourself if you’re feeling anxious, and how to use various strategies to manage and prevent anxiety.

ABC’s Mindfully podcast (produced in partnership with Smiling Mind) has created a short meditation called "Corona Calm – soothe an anxious mind" to help people feel a sense of calm during these complicated times.

Talking with children

"Most children will have already heard about the virus or seen people wearing face masks, so parents shouldn’t avoid talking about it. Not talking about something can actually make kids worry more."

Unicef Australia and the Child Mind Institute has helpful tips about how to have developmentally-appropriate conversations with children about the virus.