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SOCIAL SECURITY ACT 1991 - SECT 502

Secretary may impose additional participation requirements

             (1)  Subject to sections 502A and 502B, if the Secretary is of the opinion that, throughout a period, a person who:

                     (a)  is subject to participation requirements; and

                     (b)  is not covered by a participation exemption under Division 3A;

should undertake particular paid work, other than paid work that is unsuitable to be done by the person, the Secretary may notify the person that the person is required to act in accordance with the opinion.

Note 1:       For when a person is subject to participation requirements see subsection 23(1).

Note 2:       See subsection (4) on what paid work is unsuitable.

             (2)  To avoid doubt, the work that the person is required to undertake under subsection (1) may involve a number of hours per week that differs from the number of hours of work per week that the person is required to seek to comply with a Parenting Payment Employment Pathway Plan that is in force in relation to the person.

             (3)  The person can be taken not to have complied with requirements notified to the person under subsection (1) whether or not the person has complied with:

                     (a)  any requirement to enter into a Parenting Payment Employment Pathway Plan; and

                     (b)  the requirements in the plan.

             (4)  Subject to subsections (7) and (8), for the purposes of this section, particular paid work is unsuitable for a person if and only if, in the Secretary's opinion:

                     (a)  the person lacks the particular skills, experience or qualifications that are needed to perform the work and no training will be provided by the employer; or

                     (b)  it has been established that there is medical evidence that the person has an illness, disability or injury that would be aggravated by the conditions in which the work would be performed; or

                     (c)  the person does not have access to appropriate care and supervision, for the one or more children for whom the person is the principal carer, at the times when the person would be required to undertake the work; or

Note:       For principal carer see subsections 5(15) to (24).

                     (d)  performing the work in the conditions in which the work would be performed would constitute a risk to health or safety and would contravene a law of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory relating to occupational health and safety; or

                     (e)  the terms and conditions for the work would be less generous than the applicable statutory conditions; or

                     (g)  commuting between the person's home and the place of work would be unreasonably difficult; or

                     (h)  the work would require enlistment in the Defence Force or the Reserves; or

                      (i)  the work requires the person to move from a home in one place to a home in another place; or

                      (j)  for any other reason, the work is unsuitable for the person.

          (4A)  The Secretary must, by legislative instrument, determine matters that the Secretary must take into account in deciding whether, for the purposes of paragraph (4)(j), particular paid work is unsuitable for a person.

          (4B)  To avoid doubt, a determination under subsection (4A) does not limit the matters that the Secretary may take into account in deciding whether, for the purposes of paragraph (4)(j), particular paid work is unsuitable for a person.

             (5)  A person has, for the purposes of paragraph (4)(c), access to appropriate care and supervision for a child at a particular time if, at that time:

                     (a)  the child could be provided with care by an approved child care service (within the meaning of the Family Assistance Administration Act), and provision of that care would, in the Secretary's opinion, be appropriate in the circumstances; or

                     (b)  the child could be provided with other care that the person considers to be suitable; or

                     (c)  the child could be attending school, and attendance at that school would, in the Secretary's opinion, be appropriate in the circumstances.

             (6)  For the purposes of paragraph (4)(c), a time when the person would be required to undertake the work includes reasonable amounts of time that would be needed for the person to travel from the person's home to the place of work and from the place of work to the person's home.

             (7)  If:

                     (a)  a person seeks work in an area (the new area ) that is outside the area (the old area ) in which the person's home is situated; and

                     (b)  the person is offered permanent work (whether or not work of the kind sought) in the new area;

the work offered is not unsuitable for the person because of paragraph (4)(g) or (i) unless:

                     (c)  the person is under the age of 18; or

                     (d)  the person or the person's partner is pregnant; or

                     (e)  the person or the person's partner has a severe medical condition and the condition makes it unreasonable for the person to accept the offer; or

                      (f)  the acceptance of the offer would jeopardise the current employment, or the employment prospects, of the person's partner; or

                     (g)  the person or the person's partner has a child under the age of 16 years who is living with them or is living somewhere else in the old area; or

                     (h)  the person or the person's partner has significant caring responsibilities in the old area; or

                      (i)  the educational, cultural or religious background of the person makes it unreasonable for the person to accept the offer; or

                      (j)  it is more appropriate for the person to participate in education or training than to accept the offer; or

                     (k)  the person would suffer severe financial hardship if the person were to accept the offer.

             (8)  Without affecting what would otherwise constitute a person seeking work outside the area in which the person's home is situated, if a person, when seeking employment through an employment service provider, represents to the provider that the person is willing to undertake work outside the area in which the person's home is situated, the person is taken for the purposes of subsection (7) to seek work outside the area at the time when the representation is made.



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