8.1 Certain social security payments are available for job seekers.[1] To qualify—and remain qualified—for such payments, the job seeker must satisfy activity and participation requirements outlined in an Employment Pathway Plan (EPP). To determine the content of these requirements for each job seeker, a process is in place to determine his or her capacity to work. The chapter outlines this process and considers barriers arising within the process for victims of family violence.

8.2 First, the chapter examines how the tools and processes used to determine a job seeker’s capacity to work may be improved to protect the safety of victims of family violence. The ALRC makes recommendations to improve the administration and content of these tools and processes such as the Job Seeker Classification Instrument (JSCI), Employment Services Assessments (ESAts) and Job Capacity Assessments (JCAs).

8.3 The chapter then examines ways in which Job Services Australia (JSA)—the national employment services system—Disability Employment Services (DES) and the Indigenous Employment Program (IEP) systems respond to the needs of job seekers experiencing family violence. The ALRC recommends that the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR)—as contractor of JSA, DES and IEP providers—should ensure that providers appropriately and adequately consider the existence of family violence when tailoring service responses.

8.4 Finally, the ALRC makes a number of recommendations to ensure that a person’s experience of family violence is adequately considered in:

  • the negotiation and revision of requirements for activity-tested social security payments; and
  • the granting of exemptions from such requirements.

[1] Including Newstart Allowance, Youth Allowance, Special Benefit and Parenting Payment.