Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

Determinations/Social Security as made
The Purpose of this Determination is to set out requirements that cannot be contained in an Activity Agreement. The Determination is relevant for full-time students in receipt of youth allowance.
Administered by: Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
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Repealed by Social Security (Employment Pathway Plan Requirements) (DEEWR) Determination 2009 (No. 1)

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

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

Summary

This Determination is made under subsection 544B(1B) of the Social Security Act 1991 (the Act).

The purpose of this Determination is to set out requirements that cannot be contained in an Activity Agreement.  The Determination is relevant for full-time students in receipt of youth allowance.

Explanation of the Determination

Recipients of youth allowance who are full-time students may be required to enter into an Activity Agreement.  An Activity Agreement sets out the activities that a recipient must undertake in order to receive his or her social security payment.  While flexibility must be maintained to ensure that a broad range of activities can be included in Activity Agreements, the Government considers that recipients should not be compelled to undertake certain activities.  This Determination sets out some of those activities. 

Explanation of the provisions

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

Section 4 contains the substantive clauses of the Determination.  The effect of subsection 4(1) is that youth allowance recipients cannot be required to undertake any of the activities set out in subsection 4(2).

Subsection 4(2) consists of three paragraphs. Paragraph 4(2)(a) sets out five specific types of activities (subparagraphs 4(2)(a)(i) to (v)) that cannot be a requirement in an Activity Agreement for youth allowance.  The activities in paragraph 4(2)(a) are: participation or involvement in an illegal activity; involuntarily undergoing psychiatric or psychological treatment; involuntarily undergoing medical treatment; an activity which is required to be undertaken outside of Australia; and a requirement that a person seek work or be involved in the sex or adult entertainment industry. These activities are expressly mentioned in the Determination to ensure that people are protected from being compelled to undertake the activities.

 

 

 

While it may be appropriate that people undertake psychological treatment or medical treatment on a voluntary basis, it is considered inappropriate for involuntary treatment to be a requirement in an Activity Agreement.  Paragraph 4(2)(a), however, does not preclude such treatment from being included in an agreement if a person so chooses.

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

Paragraph 4(2)(c) applies when it has been established by medical evidence that a person has an illness, disability or injury.  If such has been established, then, as set out in subparagraph 4(2)(c)(i), an activity that medical evidence indicates would aggravate the person’s illness, disability or injury cannot be a requirement in an agreement.  Additionally, as provided for in subparagraph 4(2)(c)(ii), an activity that does not provide appropriate support or facilities to take account of the person’s illness, disability or injury cannot be a requirement in an agreement.  This 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 such a toilet.

Consultation

The Department of Employment and Workplace Relations and the Department of Family, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs 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 agreements.

Consultations were undertaken on behalf of DEST by the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations with the following organisations: 

-   National Welfare Rights Network;

-   the Australian Council of Social Service;

-   the National Council of Single Mothers and their Children;;

-   the Sole Parents’ Union;

-   the Welfare to Work Consultative Forum; and

-   the Disability Advisory Group.

The organisations consulted were provided with a draft of the Determination and were invited to provide comments at a forum held on 13 January 2006 and to provide written comments to the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations.