Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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Determinations/Social Security as made
Recipients and claimants of special benefit who are nominated visa holders are generally required to enter into a Special Benefit Activity Agreement. A Special Benefit Activity Agreement sets out the activities that a claimant or recipient must undertake in order to receive special benefit. While flexibility must be maintained to ensure that a broad range of activities can be included in an activity agreement, the Government considers that special benefit claimants and recipients should not be compelled to undertake certain activities. This Determination sets out some of those activities.
Administered by: Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
Registered 08 Feb 2006
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR09-Feb-2006
Tabled Senate09-Feb-2006
Date of repeal 01 Jul 2009
Repealed by Social Security (Employment Pathway Plan Requirements) (FaHCSIA) Determination 2009 (No. 1)

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Social Security (Activity Agreement Requirements) (DEWRFaCSIA) Determination 2006

Summary

This Ddetermination is made under subsections 501A(4), 544B(1B) and 6 731M06(1B) of the Social Security Act 1991 (the Act).

The purpose of this Ddetermination is to set out requirements that cannot be contained in an Special Benefit Activity Agreement under .  The Ddetermination is relevant for parenting payment, newstart allowance and youth allowance (except for new apprentices or people undertaking full-time study under section 731L541B   of  the Act).

Explanation of the Ddetermination

Recipients and claimants of of special benefit who are nominated visa holdersparenting payment, youth allowance and newstart allowance who have participation obligations are generally required to enter into a Special Benefitn AActivity Agreement. with Centrelink.  An Special Benefit AActivity AAgreement  sets out the activities that a claimant or recipient must undertake in order to receive special benefithis or her social security payment.  While flexibility must be maintained to ensure that a broad range of activities can be included in an Aactivity aAgreements, the Government considers that special benefit claimants and recipientsjob seekers should not be compelled to undertake certain activities.  This Ddetermination sets out some of those activities. 

Explanation of the provisions

Section 1 sets out the name of the Ddetermination. Section 2 sets out the commencement date of the determination as being 1 July 2006.  This corresponds with the commencement of the provisions in the Act under which the Ddetermination is made.    Section 3 sets out the interpretation definitions to be used in the  instrumentDetermination with thea note providing that terms appearing in the instrument Determination having have the same meaning as in the social security lawAct. 

Section 4 sets out thecontains the substantive clauses of the Ddetermination.  The effect of subsubsection (4)(1) and (2)section 4(1) is that special benefit claimants and at parenting payment, youth allowance and newstart allowance recipients recipients who are nominated visa holders cannot be required to undertake any of the activities  set out in subsection  4(32).

Subsection 4(32) consists of three paragraphs. Paragraph 4(32)(a) sets out five specific types of activities (subparagraph 4(3)(a)(i) to (v)) that cannot be a requirement in a Special Benefitn Aactivity Aagreement for the payment types mentioned above. The activities in subsection 4(3paragraph   4(2)(a)) are seeking work or being involved in the sex or adult entertainment industry; participation or involvement in an illegal activity; involuntarily undergoing psychiatric or psychological treatment; involuntarily undergoing medical treatment; and an activity that which is required to be undertaken outside of Australia; and seeking work or being involved in the sex or adult entertainment industry. These activities are specified as being unable to beexpressly mentioned in the Determination  included in an activity agreement as it is consideredto ensure appropriate to protect people are protected from being compelled to undertake any of themthe act ivities.

 

 

 

 While it may be appropriate that  for people to undertake psychological treatment or medical treatment on a voluntary basis, to assist them in preparing for work to prepare them for taking part in the workforce,  it is considered inappropriate for involuntary treatment to be in ana requirement in an aAactivity `Aagreementagreement,Paragraph 4(2)(a), however, does not preclude such treatment from being included in an agreement if a person so chooses.

 thereby allowing people a choice as to whether they will undergo treatment as part of their agreement. 

Paragraph 4(32)(b) has the effect that any activity that would contravene a Commonwealth, state ore and territory discrimination or occupational health and safety law cannot be a requirement in an activity agreement.  This provision is to ensureParagraph 4(2)(b) ensures that in setting activities within an activity agreement, specific consideration is given to relevant legislation.

 

 

Paragraph 4(32)(c) applies when it has been established by medical evidence that a person has an illness, disability or injury.  IWhere thisf such has been established, then, as set out in subparagraph 4(32)(c)(i), an activity that medical evidence indicates would aggravate the person’s illness, disability or injury cannot be a requirement in an activity aagreement.  Additionally, as provided for in subparagraph 4(23)( c)(ii) an activity that would inhibit the promotion in the community of a positive image of people who have a disability or would diminish the person’s self esteem cannot be a requirement in an agreementdoes not provide appropriate support or facilities to take account of the person’s illness disability or injury cannot be included withina requirement in an agreement. [insert policy rationale] This is to ensures that unreasonable expectations are not made of people with conditions that require special consideration.  For example, if a person requires use of a wheelchair accessible toilet, it is inappropriate for a person to be required to attend a training session in a venue without suc h a toilet.

Consultation

The Department of EmploymentFamily and Workplace RelationsCommunity Services and the Department of Education, Science and Training were consulted to ensure a co-ordinated and consistent approach for all social security payments under the Act in respect of requirements that cannot be contained in activity aagreements.

Consultations was were undertaken with the following organisations:. 

[policy to insert organisations]

 

[policy to insert how consultation were undertaken i.e. submissions received, opportunity for comment]

- National Welfare Rights Network;

- the Australian Council of Social Service;

- the National Council of Single Mothers and their ChildrenParents;

- the Sole Parents’ Union;

- the Welfare to Work Consultative Forum; and

- the Disability Advisory Group.

PeopleThe organisations  consulted were provided with a drafts of the legislative instrumentsDetermination and were invited to provide comments at a forum held on 13 January 2006 andand/or to provide written comments to the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations.