CHANGES TO MUTUAL OBLIGATIONS
RESUMPTION OF MANDATORY FACE-TO-FACE SERVICING
From 9 March 2021:
From this date, the option to have meetings by phone or online will no longer be available, and all job seekers (including those in the ParentsNext program) will need to resume in-person meetings with their employment consultant, where safe to do so. Special circumstances exemptions will continue to be available through Services Australia for job seekers who require them, including those directly impacted by COVID-19.
INCREASED JOB SEARCH REQUIREMENTS
Following recent signs of economic recovery, the Federal Department of Education, Skills and Employment has made the decision to begin increasing job search requirements for job seekers from April 2021 and then again in July 2021. We understand that this may create challenges for many people and urge you to reach out to your Employment Plus consultant to discuss and create a plan for how you will meet these new requirements. We are here to help and support you every step of the way.
From April 2021:
The minimum job search requirement will increase from 8 per month to 15 per month.
From July 2021:
This will then increase to a requirement for a minimum of 20 job searches per month.
For further information on job search requirements please see the following government web pages:
NEW ACTIVITY FOR JOB SEEKERS AFTER 6 MONTHS
From October 2021:
Job seekers who have been participating in jobactive and online Employment Services for six months will be required to undertake an activity such as a short training course, or an 8 week version of Work for the Dole.
Annual Activity Requirements will still apply for those job seekers who remain in employment services at 12 months after commencement.
Applicable training courses would include those available through JobTrainer, Employability Skills Training, Career Transition Assistance or Skills for Education and Employment.
Other options include a Work Experience placement such as a PaTH Internship, National Work Experience Program placement or volunteer work.
Job seekers in Online Employment Services who do not enroll themselves in training or other activities such as Employability Skills training, will be referred to a provider for an activity to be arranged.
An 8 week Work For the Dole placement will be the default activity if no other activity is selected.
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.
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."