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A Bill for an Act to amend the law relating to social security, and for related purposes
Administered by: Employment
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Registered 10 Sep 2015
Introduced HR 10 Sep 2015
Table of contents.

2013‑2014‑2015

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

Social Security Legislation Amendment (Further Strengthening Job Seeker Compliance) Bill 2015

 

No.      , 2015

 

(Employment)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to amend the law relating to social security, and for related purposes

  

  


Contents

1............ Short title............................................................................................. 1

2............ Commencement................................................................................... 1

3............ Schedules............................................................................................ 2

Schedule 1—Amendments                                                                                                3

Social Security (Administration) Act 1999                                                             3

 

 


A Bill for an Act to amend the law relating to social security, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

1  Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Social Security Legislation Amendment (Further Strengthening Job Seeker Compliance) Act 2015.

2  Commencement

             (1)  Each provision of this Act specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken to have commenced, in accordance with column 2 of the table. Any other statement in column 2 has effect according to its terms.

 

Commencement information

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Provisions

Commencement

Date/Details

1.  Sections 1 to 3 and anything in this Act not elsewhere covered by this table

The day this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

2.  Schedule 1

1 July 2016.

1 July 2016

Note:          This table relates only to the provisions of this Act as originally enacted. It will not be amended to deal with any later amendments of this Act.

             (2)  Any information in column 3 of the table is not part of this Act. Information may be inserted in this column, or information in it may be edited, in any published version of this Act.

3  Schedules

                   Legislation that is specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.

Schedule 1Amendments

  

Social Security (Administration) Act 1999

1  Section 42A

Repeal the section, substitute:

42A  Simplified outline of this Division

•      The Secretary may determine that a person commits a no show no pay failure or a serious failure.

•      A person commits such a failure by failing to comply with his or her obligations in relation to a participation payment. The participation payments are newstart allowance, and for some people, youth allowance, parenting payment or special benefit.

•      For a no show no pay failure, a penalty amount is deducted from the person’s participation payment.

•      For a serious failure, a participation payment is generally not payable to the person for 8 weeks, although in certain circumstances a shorter period applies.

•      The Secretary may also determine that a person is unemployed as a result of a voluntary act or misconduct. If the Secretary does so, a participation payment is not payable to the person for either 8 or 12 weeks, depending on the circumstances.

•      The Secretary may also determine that a participation payment is not payable to a person for a period because of certain failures. Once that period ends, the person may be able to receive back pay.

2  Subdivision B of Division 3A of Part 3 (heading)

Repeal the heading, substitute:

Subdivision BNo show no pay failures relating to participation in activities or to job interviews etc.

3  Section 42C (heading)

Repeal the heading, substitute:

42C  No show no pay failures relating to participation in activities or to job interviews etc.

4  Subsection 42C(4)

After “determine”, insert “, under that subsection,”.

5  Paragraph 42C(4)(c)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                     (c)  in respect of that day, there is a penalty amount, for the person, because of a determination under subsection 42SC(1).

6  Subsection 42C(5)

Omit “, provided that the penalty amount may not be deducted until at least the instalment after the first instalment made following notification to the person of the no show no pay failure”.

7  Section 42D

After “determines”, insert “under section 42C”.

8  Subdivision C of Division 3A of Part 3

Repeal the Subdivision.

9  Paragraph 42M(1)(a)

Omit “(including by committing no show no pay failures, connection failures or reconnection failures)”.

10  Section 42NC

Repeal the section.

11  Subsection 42P(1)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

Participation payment not payable during serious failure period

             (1)  If the Secretary determines that a person commits a serious failure, a participation payment is not payable to the person during the person’s serious failure period.

Note 1:       For a determination under subsection 42M(1), the Secretary may end a serious failure period under section 42Q.

Note 2:       For a determination under subsection 42M(1), the Secretary may determine that a participation payment is payable, despite this section, under section 42R.

Note 3:       The Secretary may continue the participation payment pending the outcome of an application for review (see sections 131 and 145).

12  Subsection 42P(3)

After “determines”, insert “under subsection 42M(1)”.

13  Subsection 42Q(1)

Omit “The Secretary may end a person’s”, substitute “If the Secretary determines under subsection 42M(1) that a person commits a serious failure, the Secretary may end the person’s”.

14  Subsection 42Q(3)

Repeal the subsection.

15  Subsection 42R(1)

Omit “The Secretary may determine that, despite a person’s”, substitute “If the Secretary determines under subsection 42M(1) that a person commits a serious failure, the Secretary may determine that, despite the person’s”.

16  Before paragraph 42SA(1)(a)

Insert:

                    (aa)  the person fails to comply with a requirement, under section 501, 544A, 605 or 731L of the 1991 Act, to enter into an employment pathway plan; or

17  After paragraph 42SA(1)(b)

Insert:

                  (baa)  an employment pathway plan is in force in relation to the person and the person fails to satisfy the Secretary that the person has undertaken adequate job search efforts in relation to a period worked out in accordance with the plan; or

18  Paragraph 42SA(1)(c)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                     (c)  the Secretary is satisfied that, during an appointment mentioned in paragraph (b) or (ba) that the person attended, the person acted in an inappropriate manner such that the purpose of the appointment was not achieved.

19  Subsection 42SA(1) (note)

Repeal the note, substitute:

Note 1:       For paragraph (1)(baa), see also subsections (1B) to (1D).

Note 2:       For paragraph (1)(c), see also subsections (5) to (7).

20  Before subsection 42SA(1A)

Insert:

Exception—section 42SB applies

21  After subsection 42SA(1A)

Insert:

Adequate job search efforts

          (1B)  For the purposes of paragraph (1)(baa), the question whether a person has undertaken adequate job search efforts in relation to a particular period is to be worked out in accordance with a determination in force under subsection (1C).

          (1C)  The Secretary must, by legislative instrument, make a determination for the purposes of subsection (1B).

          (1D)  If the Secretary makes a determination under subsection (1) because of paragraph (1)(baa) applying, the Secretary must notify the person, in any way that the Secretary considers appropriate, of requirements the person must comply with. Those requirements must be related to undertaking job searches.

22  Subsection 42SA(2)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

Period participation payment is not payable

             (2)  The participation payment is not payable to the person for the period worked out in accordance with the following table:

 

Non‑payability period

Item

Column 1
If this paragraph applies:

Column 2
The period begins on this day:

Column 3
The period ends at the end of this day:

1

Paragraph (1)(aa)

The day the person first commits the failure

The day before the person complies with a further requirement, under section 501, 544A, 605 or 731L of the 1991 Act, to enter into an employment pathway plan

2

Paragraph (1)(a)

The day the person first commits the failure

The day before the person attends an appointment the Secretary, by a notice under subsection 63(2), requires the person to attend because of that paragraph applying

3

Paragraph (1)(b)

The day the person first commits the failure

The day before the person attends an appointment the Secretary, by a notice under subsection 63(2), requires the person to attend because of that paragraph applying

4

Paragraph (1)(baa)

The day the person fails to satisfy the Secretary of the matter referred to in that paragraph

The day before the person satisfies the Secretary that the person has complied with the requirements notified to the person under subsection (1D)

5

Paragraph (1)(ba)

The day the person first commits the failure

The day before the person attends an appointment the Secretary, by a notice under subsection 63(2), requires the person to attend because of that paragraph applying

6

Paragraph (1)(c)

The day of the appointment

The day before the person attends an appointment the Secretary, by a notice under subsection 63(2), requires the person to attend because of that paragraph applying

    (2AAA)  If, in relation to a person and a period under subsection (2), the Secretary determines that an earlier day is more appropriate than the day that would otherwise apply under column 3 of an item in the table in that subsection, then that period ends under that subsection at the end of that earlier day.

23  Paragraph 42SA(2AA)(a)

Omit “employment provider”, substitute “employment service provider”.

24  Paragraph 42SA(2AA)(b)

After “Secretary”, insert “, by a notice under subsection 63(2),”.

25  Paragraph 42SA(2AA)(b)

Omit “employment provider”, substitute “employment service provider”.

26  Subsection 42SA(2AA) (note 1)

Repeal the note.

27  Subsection 42SA(2AA) (note 2)

Omit “Note 2”, substitute “Note”.

28  Before subsection 42SA(2A)

Insert:

Withholding payment

29  Before subsection 42SA(3)

Insert:

When participation payment becomes payable again

30  Subsection 42SA(3) (note)

Omit “Note”, substitute “Note 1”.

31  Subsection 42SA(3) (note)

Omit “paragraph (1)(b) or (ba)”, substitute “paragraph (1)(aa), (b), (ba) or (c)”.

32  At the end of subsection 42SA(3)

Add:

Note 2:       If a period ends under subsection (2) in relation to a person and a participation payment becomes payable to the person for that period, section 42C may apply in relation to a day in that period.

33  Before subsection 42SA(4)

Insert:

Notification of determination

34  At the end of section 42SA

Add:

Legislative instrument—paragraph (1)(c)

             (5)  The Secretary may, by legislative instrument, determine matters that the Secretary must take into account in deciding whether paragraph (1)(c) applies in relation to a person.

             (6)  If the Secretary makes such an instrument, in deciding whether paragraph (1)(c) applies in relation to a person, the Secretary must take those matters into account.

             (7)  To avoid doubt, subsection (6) does not limit the matters that the Secretary may take into account in deciding whether paragraph (1)(c) applies in relation to a person.

35  Subdivision EC of Division 3A of Part 3 (heading)

Repeal the heading, substitute:

Subdivision ECNo show no pay failures relating to appointments or to entry into employment pathway plans

36  Section 42SC (heading)

Repeal the heading, substitute:

42SC  No show no pay failures relating to appointments or to entry into employment pathway plans

37  Subsection 42SC(1)

Omit “non‑attendance failure”, substitute “no show no pay failure”.

38  Subsection 42SC(1)

Omit “the person’s failure referred to in paragraph 42SA(1)(b) or (ba)”, substitute “paragraph 42SA(1)(aa), (b), (ba) or (c) applying”.

39  Subsection 42SC(2)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

             (2)  Despite subsection (1), the Secretary must not determine, under that subsection, that a person commits a no show no pay failure if the person satisfies the Secretary that the person has a reasonable excuse for:

                     (a)  in relation to paragraph 42SA(1)(aa), (b) or (ba)—the person’s failure referred to in that paragraph; or

                     (b)  in relation to paragraph 42SA(1)(c)—the manner in which the person acted during the appointment referred to in that paragraph.

Note:          The Secretary must take certain matters into account for the purposes of subsection (2) (see section 42U). See also section 42UA (about prior notification of excuses).

40  Subsection 42SC(3)

Omit “non‑attendance failure”, substitute “no show no pay failure”.

41  Section 42SD

After “determines”, insert “under section 42SC”.

42  Section 42SD

Omit “non‑attendance failure” (wherever occurring), substitute “no show no pay failure”.

43  Subsection 42T(1)

Omit “, a reconnection failure or a non‑attendance failure”.

44  Before subsection 42T(2)

Insert:

No show no pay failures under subsection 42C(1)

45  Subsection 42T(2)

After “no show no pay failure”, insert “under subsection 42C(1)”.

46  Subsection 42T(3)

Repeal the subsection.

47  Before subsection 42T(3A)

Insert:

No show no pay failures under subsection 42SC(1)

48  Subsection 42T(3A)

Omit “a non‑attendance failure”, substitute “a no show no pay failure under subsection 42SC(1)”.

49  Subsection 42T(3A)

Omit “non‑attendance failure penalty period”, substitute “applicable penalty period”.

50  Subsection 42T(3B)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

          (3B)  For the purposes of subsection (3A), the applicable penalty period is the period:

                     (a)  beginning on the day the person is notified by the Secretary of the determination under subsection 42SA(1); and

                     (b)  ending on:

                              (i)  the day the period under subsection 42SA(2) ends; or

                             (ii)  if the Secretary determines under subsection (3C) of this section that an earlier day is more appropriate than the day that would otherwise apply under subparagraph (i)—that earlier day.

          (3C)  For the purposes of subparagraph (3B)(b)(ii), the Secretary may determine an earlier day if the person satisfies the Secretary that the person has a reasonable excuse:

                     (a)  for item 1 of the table in subsection 42SA(2)—for failing to comply with the further requirement mentioned in column 3 of that item; or

                     (b)  for item 2 or 3 of that table—for failing to attend the appointment mentioned in column 3 of that item; or

                     (c)  for item 4 of that table—for failing to comply with the requirements mentioned in column 3 of that item; or

                     (d)  for item 5 or 6 of that table—for failing to attend the appointment mentioned in column 3 of that item.

Note:          The Secretary must take certain matters into account for the purposes of subsection (3C) (see section 42U). See also section 42UA (about prior notification of excuses).

51  Subsection 42T(4)

Repeal the subsection.

52  Before subsection 42T(5)

Insert:

General rules

53  Paragraph 42U(1)(a)

After “paragraph 42C(4)(a)”, insert “and subsection 42SC(2)”.

54  Paragraphs 42U(1)(b) and (c)

Repeal the paragraphs.

55  Paragraph 42U(1)(e)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                     (e)  a failure referred to in paragraph 42T(3C)(a), (b), (c) or (d).

56  Paragraph 42UA(1)(d)

Omit “person;”, substitute “person.”.

57  Paragraph 42UA(1)(e)

Repeal the paragraph.

58  Subsection 42UA(2)

Omit “, paragraph 42E(4)(a) or 42H(3)(a) or subsection 42SC(2)”, substitute “or subsection 42SC(2) or 42T(3C)”.

59  Subsection 42UA(2) (table item 2, column headed “For this failure:”)

Omit “or (e)”.

60  Section 42V

Omit “, a reconnection failure or a non‑attendance failure”.

61  Section 42V

Omit “, 42L”.

62  Section 42X

Before “A”, insert “(1)”.

63  Section 42X

Omit “, a reconnection failure or a non‑attendance failure”.

64  At the end of section 42X

Add:

             (2)  If, under this Division, a participation payment is not payable to a person for a period, then, for the purposes of paragraphs 63(1)(a) and (3)(a), the person is taken to be receiving that participation payment for that period.

65  Subsection 63(2)

Omit “within”, substitute “at or within”.

66  Subclause 1(1) of Schedule 1 (definition of connection failure)

Repeal the definition.

67  Subclause 1(1) of Schedule 1 (definition of further reconnection requirement)

Repeal the definition.

68  Subclause 1(1) of Schedule 1 (definition of non‑attendance failure)

Repeal the definition.

69  Subclause 1(1) of Schedule 1 (definition of no show no pay failure)

Omit “subsection 42C(1)”, substitute “subsections 42C(1) and 42SC(1)”.

70  Subclause 1(1) of Schedule 1 (definition of penalty amount)

Omit “, a reconnection failure or a non‑attendance failure”.

71  Subclause 1(1) of Schedule 1 (definition of reconnection failure)

Repeal the definition.

72  Subclause 1(1) of Schedule 1 (definition of reconnection failure period)

Repeal the definition.

73  Subclause 1(1) of Schedule 1 (definition of reconnection requirement)

Repeal the definition.

74  Application and saving provisions

(1)       The amendments made by items 4, 5, 6 and 7 apply in relation to determinations made under subsection 42C(1) of the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 on or after the commencement of this item.

(2)       Despite the amendments made by this Schedule, Subdivisions C, EA and F of Division 3A of Part 3 of the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999, as in force immediately before the commencement of this item, continue to apply on and after that commencement in relation to the following:

                     (a)  a requirement mentioned in paragraph 42E(2)(a), (b), (c), (f) or (g) or 42G(b), (c), (ca) or (d) of that Act that arose before that commencement;

                     (b)  a notice issued under subsection 42F(1) of that Act before that commencement.

(3)       The amendments made by items 10, 11, 12, 13 and 15 apply in relation to:

                     (a)  determinations made under subsection 42M(1) of the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 on or after the commencement of this item, where the failures referred to in paragraph 42M(1)(a) of that Act occurred before, on or after that commencement; or

                     (b)  determinations made under subsection 42N(1) of the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 on or after the commencement of this item, where the refusals or failures referred to in paragraph 42N(1)(b) of that Act occurred on or after that commencement.

(4)       The amendment made by item 16 applies in relation to failures that occur on or after the commencement of this item, where the requirements arose on or after that commencement.

(5)       The amendment made by item 17 applies in relation to failures that occur on or after the commencement of this item, where the periods begin on or after that commencement.

(6)       The amendment made by item 18 applies in relation to appointments occurring on or after the commencement of this item.

(7)       The amendments made by items 22 and 24 apply in relation to determinations made under subsection 42SA(1) of the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 on or after the commencement of this item, other than determinations made as a result of the continued application of Subdivision EA of Division 3A of Part 3 of that Act as mentioned in subitem (2).

(8)       The amendments made by items 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42 and 50 apply in relation to determinations made under subsection 42SC(1) of the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 on or after the commencement of this item, where the determinations under subsection 42SA(1) of that Act were made before, on or after that commencement.