The following Social Security Legislation Amendment 2021 was introduced into parliament on 27 May 2021.
If the legislation is passed, the new employment services model will come into effect from July 1, 2022, in just over 1 years time.
Peter Davidson, Australian Council of Social Services advisor, said: “We don’t understand why the government is in such a rush to pass this major redraft of social security laws so quickly.”
If Federal Labor decide to not support the reforms, the government will need support from Senate cross-benchers, to be able to pass the bill.
Social Security Legislation Amendment (Streamlined Participation Requirements and Other Measures) Bill 2021.
Amends the: Social Security Act 1991 and Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 to:
create a single set of employment pathway plan requirement provisions, which will allow better use of technology, enabling job seekers more choice about how they enter into an employment pathway plan and meet the requirements of that plan;
repeal certain redundant and outdated ‘activity test’ provisions;
create a single set of criteria for exemptions from mutual obligation requirements;
provide legislative authority for expenditure on employment programs;
and repeal certain redundant provisions;
Farm Household Support Act 2014 to make consequential amendments;
Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 to amend the targeted compliance framework to provide that sanctions need not be imposed when recipients of participation payments have a valid reason for failing to meet their requirements or immediately re-engage;
Social Security Act 1991 to:
allow payments or benefits from Commonwealth and state and territory employment programs to not be considered income for social security law purposes;
provide that the declaration of an approved program of work for income support payment is by legislative instrument;
consolidate certain provisions in relation to activities that do not give rise to employment under certain industrial relations legislation; clarify that those receiving youth allowance as a job seeker continue to be treated as such when undertaking study as part of their requirements;
and make amendments contingent on the commencement of the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform) Act 2018;
and Farm Household Support Act 2014, Social Security Act 1991 and Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 to align the start day provisions for certain job seekers claiming jobseeker payment or youth allowance.