Centrelink mutual obligations: budget changes tipped to prevent 1m jobseeker suspensions a year

Announcements are ‘good steps’ to reduce harms caused by employment services system but fall short of the overhaul required, advocates say

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The Albanese government will relax some of the requirements imposed job seekers as a condition for their income support, with a suite of changes expected to prevent around 1m welfare payment suspensions every year.

Changes to the mutual obligations scheme, contained in the federal budget, will ease the rules that govern when a person’s payments are suspended, meaning job seekers will have a five-day grace period – rather than 48 hours – to account for missing employment services appointments and other activities before their income support is cut off.

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