Update: Mutual Obligation Requirements

Our staff are continuing to work with you during these challenging times. While our branches remain closed to visitors following government advice on social distancing measures you can still contact us via phone or email to discuss your job seeking requirements.

The Federal Government has announced changes to mutual obligation requirements, which now differ across states.


In Victoria, the gradual return to mutual obligation requirements has been delayed due to the COVID-19 situation. Employment services will remain under current arrangements.

While CVGT job seekers are encouraged to do all they can to find a job, and engage with us, no financial penalties or suspensions will apply if you fail to participate in an appointment. Your consultant will reschedule an appointment if you do not participate. This will apply if you have a residential address in Victoria or if you are managed through one of our sites located within the state.

On August 3, you should have received an SMS from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment advising of these changes.

Staff will not be working from branches within metropolitan Melbourne following the introduction of Stage 4 restrictions. Branches throughout the rest of Victoria will be staffed but remain closed to visitors.

We remain accessible via phone and email at all sites so you can continue to participate in provider appointments or by other arrangements that do not require face-to-face contact. This will allow you to stay connected with us and to ensure you are supported to access the full range of assistance, including mental health services, if required.

Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash, Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, says the decision remains until further notice.

“No Victorian will face financial penalties during this time, however, job seekers are encouraged to remain connected with their employment service providers to ensure they are supported to access the full range of assistance including mental health services, if required,” Minister Cash says.


In Tasmania and New South Wales, from 4 August, our job seekers are expected to participate in appointments with us, agree to a Job Plan, undertake a job search, and attend activities if it is safe to do so.

You must be willing to accept any offer of suitable paid work and penalties will now apply if you refuse a job without a reasonable excuse. You may have your payment cancelled, and may need to wait for four weeks before you can reapply for income support.

You will be required to:

  • undertake appointments with us. This can be done online or over the phone or in exceptional circumstances in person.
  • agree to a Job Plan – this will set out what agree to do while on payment and moving towards or back into employment.
  • undertake up to four job searches per month, tailored to local labour market conditions, and
  • participate in training or other activities, either online or in person, where safe to do so.

Our branches remain closed to visitors but you can contact us via phone and email. You are encouraged to maintain contact with us or log onto your jobactive dashboard regularly, to ensure you aware of opportunities available for training, upskilling or employment.


If you are in the Online Employment Service, you will be required to agree to a Job Plan and undertake up to four job searches per month. You will not be subject to payment suspensions or penalties for not meeting these requirements.

Special circumstances exemptions will also continue to be available from Services Australia for job seekers who require them, including those directly affected by COVID-19. Sole traders and those who are self-employed will continue to be exempted from requirements to allow them to work to re-establish their business.

Along with the Federal Government, we recognise this continues to be a challenging time for those looking for work and our focus remains on getting people back into jobs and rebuilding our communities as quickly as possible.

We can also help you gain access to skills training, support for other work preparation activities and referral to jobs and relevant support services, such as mental health services, if required.

If you have questions about your mutual obligation requirements, phone us on 13 28 48 or contact us online.

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